I volunteer at a local library on Friday mornings, and I noticed something odd about myself. As I was going to leave the library, I realized I hadn’t checked anything out. I had a book on hold for me at a different branch, and I had more than a dozen books at home. But I hadn’t checked anything out that day. I was itching inside. I was ill-at-ease.
So what did I do? I browsed among Charles Dickens and found a book, a beautiful new book with a nice binding and new book smell, and checked it out. I felt so much better.
I don’t buy books. In fact, when I moved to my first home last year, we were under budget constraints so except for a few $1 books from the library sale cart, I purposely did not buy a book between February and December. But it surprised me that checking out a book was as much an addiction as some people find buying books. At least it’s free!
Weird sensation, though, to realize my body and mind felt the need to check out a book. Not that I’m going to read it this week or next. I just needed a book as I walked out of the library.
Are you addicted to checking out library books?
Are you addicted to buying books? I’ve always wondered how people fund that addiction. Books are expensive!
My week in reading was good. I enjoyed Sir Gawain, although it wasn’t a favorite, and I’ve already talked about The Housekeeper and the Professor. Although I’m finding my project book a little bit of a drag, I’m making progress. And the Zora Neale Hurston is a fast-paced novel that I really enjoy! I plan on reading To the Lighthouse first (for the Woolf in Winter readalong), and while I’m not enjoying it as I did Mrs. Dalloway, it’s also not bad. I shouldn’t give an opinion until I finish, because my mind could be changed.
I started dabbling in Inventing English, and I look forward to reading it slowly. Half the Sky is fascinating: it shows me how naïve and ignorant I am of the plight of women around the world. I suspect I will go through it quickly because it is so interesting to me.
What are you reading this week?
P.S. Apologies to those who were on Twitter the other night for the lack of a vlog. I chickened out.
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: A New Verse Translation trans. Simon Armitage (200, but half of that is the original Middle English; fiction/really old classic). For the Really Old Classics Challenge.
- The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa (190 pages; fiction). For the Japanese Literature Challenge 3 and the Japanese Literature Book Group.
- Golden Slippers, an anthology of Negro poetry for young readers (200 pages; poetry). A collection of Harlem Renaissance poetry.
- All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. I couldn’t bring myself to read it. Maybe some day!
Each week, I list my progress so I can see how my reading compares week to week. I did make a little progress on some of these.
Here are the books I own or downloaded. I’ve been rather horrible at reading my project book this week! I still have eleven days in the month to finish it, though, so it’s okay.
- Our Latter-day Hymns: The Stories and Their Messages by Karen Lynn Davidson (100 read of 455 pages; nonfiction).
- History of the English-Speaking People by Winston Churchill, abridged by Henry Steele Commager (370 read of 470; nonfiction). My Project Book. For some reason, I thought there were 415 pages so I was gauging my daily read by that. I just realized it has 470 pages. Better read faster!
Old Library Loot
- To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (110 read of 315 pages; fiction). For Woolf in Winter.
- Moses, man of the mountain by Zora Neale Hurston (105 read of 300 pages; fiction).
- Inventing English: a portable history of the language by Seth Lerer (20 read of about 250 pages; nonfiction).
- Black no more : a novel by George S. Schuyler. For the February Classics Circuit.
- The picture of Dorian Gray (Norton Critical Edition) by Oscar Wilde. For my book club.
- Oscar Wilde’s The picture of Dorian Gray: a graphic novel by Ian Culbard. Since I’m reading the original for my book club.
- A visit to William Blake’s inn: poems for innocent and experienced travelers by Nancy Willard. A Newbery and Caldecott winner.
- East of Eden by John Steinbeck. For the Classics Reads Book Group. I haven’t started, so I’ll be a bit behind the others.
- Kings : an account of books 1 and 2 of Homer’s Iliad; The husbands : an account of books 3 and 4; All day permanent red : the first battle scenes of Homer’s Iliad; and War music : an account of books 16 to 19 of Homer’s Iliad by Christopher Logue. These are each short (80-100 pages). For the retelling portion of the Really Old Classics Challenge.
- Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. My Valentine’s Day read; I’ve never read it.
New Library Loot
- Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into opportunity for women worldwide by Nicholas Kristof (50 read of 250 pages; nonfiction).
- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. My impulse pick.
- Haruki Murakami (Jackie’s suggestion for Japanese Lit)
- Silence by Shusaku Endo (Sherry’s suggestion for Japanese Lit)
- The Wind-up Bird Chronicle; Strangers; Be With You; The Old Capital (Gnoe’s suggestions for JLit)
- Kenzaburo Oe’s A Quiet Life (Emily’s suggestion for JLit)
- The World Without Us by Alan Weisman. Nymeth.
- The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. Steph.
- Narrative in the Life of Frederick Douglas. Eva.
- Character by F. Bordewijk. Myrthe.