Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The books, they watch me!

From Tuesday's awesome guest blogger Ms. C:

Hey Bookaphiles, does this sound familiar? There's a book on your nightstand, one in your purse, and several strewn about the house (in the kitchen, den, or bathroom) waiting to be picked up and read. Is there a book in your bed? C'mon, it's alright to admit it. I know you try not to do that but sometimes you roll over in the night and your knee hits something pointy and you realize, "Damn, I think that's the James Patterson."

I bet you also pepper in nonfiction with fiction and difficult, meaty books with cotton candy ones. This way, you get a challenge and/or a break, and though you run the very real risk of mentally putting Neville Longbottom in Northanger Abbey, it's worth it in order to match every reading mood with just the right volume.

I bet you've also encountered this happy accident:


And you’d be forgiven for quoting "Ghostbusters" with, "You're right. No human being would stack books this way."

Already, these books, piled high or hidden in nooks and crannies throughout our day-to-day, insist politely but doggedly that we read them. As Liz told me, they "sort of become this living thing after a while, like a pet you feel guilty for not taking care of." Does widdle Dostoyevsky want a treat? Hmmm? Atsa good boy!

That stack there is my daunting task, including all the histories, travel guides, novels, and art books borrowed from friends, the library, or bought with intentions to read. Piled up like that, they seem more like an impatient St. Bernard with a full bladder than a sleepy Jack Russell looking to nuzzle. But like that beloved pet, these books' whining and pawing of the furniture, reminding me of my obligation and responsibility to read them, is forgiven once the book and I are both nestled into a cozy reading chair. Now the challenge is just to find another bookmark!

13 comments:

techtigger said...

*lol* my sweetheart, being a methodical engineer, can't understand how I manage to read the various stacks of books scattered about the house at the same time :) He will read one book cover to cover over the course of a week. By that time, I've gone through my archaeology mags, 5-10 comic books, 3 brain-candy paperbacks, started taking notes on a book for grant writing, sifted through another stack I picked up on landscape design for ideas, started studying a new programming language for work....

The 'clutter' of all those books drives him up the wall *heh* But as I have so often reminded him, there are worse vices I could have. At which he can only sigh, nod, and go back to the car magazine he's been reading all week ;)

Beth said...

I'm so glad to see that I'm not the only one that can eat four to six books at a time over the course of a few weeks of on and off reading. Everyone that notices always asks how I manage to keep them straight...but I always ask how one can mix them up!

cleartrampoline said...

Soo true! I have books all over the place, and The Stand keeps looking at me going, "You know you like me, when are you going to finish reading my one million billion pages? C'mon, put the comics down and finish me up."

Kristen said...

Wait, Neville Longbottom wasn't in Northanger Abbey? I could've sworn he was running madly through the halls searching in mysterious wardrobes and trunks for Trevor...

RedCochina said...

I've got Comic Book Tattoo on the dining room table, Mary Reilly on the couch, Buffy Omnibus Volume 4 on the end table, Entertainment Weekly in the bathroom and a stack of non-fiction on my nightstand. I can't go anywhere in my house without them calling to me! Nice to hear I'm not the only one. :)

The Modern Gal said...

Yep. I think I have at least two books in every room. That way, whereever I land I have one to read.

Hawkeyegirl said...

I made the major mistake of deciding to catalogue my books. I started with a small pile, now I've got a few dozen small to medium size wobbly stacks of "Hey! I forgot I had this!" and "Wow, I need to re-read that!" Not to mention the "When did I buy these?" and of course the "I think my books are mating because I've never seen these before," stacks. Now, that's on top of the my regular chaos- I've got Jasper Fforde (speaking of messed up with Jane Austen...) and two genetics textbooks in my bedroom, two brain candy fantasy novels in my purse, a mini-mountain of travel books waiting to be catalogued (and thumbed through) and of course, mental_floss, Smithsonian and Scientific American magazines just begging to be read.

I'd better take some vacation, just to clean it all up.

Jen said...

Heck, I even have one or two stashed at the office in case I accidentally forget to bring one.

Marie said...

It's like you can see inside my house... :-)

Ahava Jora said...

My nightstand could double as a used book store. The rest of my house follows suit, though I have to be more careful now that I have a puppy who is a bit of her own sort of bibliophile.

My solution to the bookmark problem is to hide little stacks of small sticky notes around the house, on the back side of the headboard, under the coffee table, etc. Wherever I am, if I need to make a note or mark my place, I'm ready.

jendoop said...

Tis all true! And in great parenting style I've passed this on to my daughter.

The bookmark dilemma is actually a good memory trigger. You grab whatever is handy as a bookmark, a business card, library receipt, etc. Then when you eventually get back to reading the bookmark jars your memory to sort out Neville from Northanger.

Is anyone else ready to insist the library extend it's due dates to 10 weeks? All that pressure to return or renew, just let me enjoy!

agent57 said...

This post reminded me to pick five unread books from my bookcase and add them to the already substantial pile on my bedside table. Maaan, thanks a lot Parkbench!

whatever said...

Tell me about it jendoop.....I have 30 some books out at any given time. Every time I go to turn things in I check more out.... It's like 2 in, 7 out sometimes.