October 03, 2007

Wednesday Confession

(Inspired, in part, by Nate)

You know, I'm not crazy about novels anymore. That hasn't always been the case. I was that kid who maxed out the public library's 50-book limit. I grew up on everything from L.M. Montgomery to Vladimir Nabokov to Stephen King to Mary Higgins Clark to Ray Bradbury to Willa Cather: I read anything that landed in front of me, including cereal boxes and the Sports section of the Post.

Nowadays it is short stories, I love, especially hodgepodge anthologies where I discover new authors. And nonfiction books, I have finally developed a taste for. Two devoured recently: The Zen of Fish by Trevor Corson, and The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs (a perk of being in the review business--I got to read each as galleys, months before they came out).

But novels? Never read Love in the Time of Cholera. Never read The Master and Margherita (despite receiving a very nice gift of it). Never read The Memory Keeper's Daughter, or The Lovely Bones, or The Red Tent. Never read Pride and Predjudice. Never read War and Peace.

And damn it, it's okay if I never do. Just this morning a friend referred to these books as "the type that people like us read," and I was too embarassed to contradict him. But my life is overflowing with words: magazines, poetry collections, essays, and blogs. I can live without having read Les Miserables.

So if you've added me to your GoodReads list, or any other comunity bookshelf, please don't be offended if my account stays inactive. I accepted the invitation because I know and like you, and it seemed rude not to. But the truth is: I'm not looking for more books to read.

I'm looking for more time to read the books I already know about.


newzoopoet said...

Amen, sister! When someone offers to loan me a book, I just laugh. ;)

Hebdomeros said...

I gave up reading all those things we're supposed to read a few years ago. I realized picking up books I feel I have to read instantly makes reading them feel like work. But if I'm reading a book on surrealism, for example, and stumble across the name of a writer that sounds interesting, I'll search high and low for them and usually enjoy it. I'm still weak, though, when people suggest things. I just warn them it might be awhile before I get to it. Maybe a couple of years.