One of the great pleasures of a library card is the library stack swap. I know some of you actually read the library books you check out, and I read a lot of mine too. But I also return a lot unread. For me, the process of researching books I want to read and then acquiring big stacks of them is more or less equal to the pleasure of actually reading. And the library is very good for guilt-free book acquisition.
Yesterday I finally called it on my last stack of books. I had had them for several weeks and no longer felt much pull to start the ones I hadn’t tried yet. I finished two of them, started and abandoned two, lost interest before even starting five more, and am currently wavering a little more than halfway through the last one (Kate Atkinson’s Transcription which is well-written, but Juliet is getting on my last nerve. She’s either a complete idiot or about to be revealed as an unreliable narrator, and I think I’m annoyed in either case.) That’s about right for my ratio of library book checkouts to library book completions.
The week’s haul includes a few novels I’ve been meaning to read for the past year as well as several new sci-fi possibilities. Slower paced literary fiction is generally my best bet for before-bed reading. It’s never exciting enough to keep me awake, but it’s still nourishing. I know better than to read a zippy space opera before bed, but sci-fi is my favorite new genre and I can’t resist.
I kept Transcription in the hope that starting something shiny and new would give me energy to finish it. I’m happiest as a reader, after all, when I have five or six different books going at once. Last night my ten minutes of before-bed reading stretched to thirty-five as I couldn’t quite put Planetfall down once I started it. So tonight’s plan: a few pages of the far-too-invigorating Planetfall, and then a transition to tiresome Juliet to bring on fatigue.