Assigned reading

As I was reading last night, I realized that so far this year, the only books on my RADAR (does it still have to be all-caps?  Is RADAR still an acronym?) are assigned readings — books sent or handed to me by friends.  I could exempt “The Bridesmaid’s Handbook” from that, but… no, it, too, was expected reading.  I’m in the middle of a series that has loaned me (the “Song of Ice and Fire” books); when I finish those, I have two Ann Patchett books to read that were sent over from Delaware, and I have at least 5 other books that were handed to me within the last six months by friends who’ve said, “Oh, you have to read this!”  That’s on top of the stack of books I’ve received as gifts within the last year, most of which I have yet to even open, though I very badly want to.

The problem is reading is much like writing or eating for me: I have to be in the mood for it, and even then, my appetite may be for short stories or literary fiction or comedy instead of what’s laying before me.  This is why I can’t ever seem to work my way down any of the “To Be Read” lists that I’ve created in various places — I scribble down names of books that look interesting when they look interesting, but by the time I’m finished with whatever I’ve been reading, I’m in the mood for something completely different.  Then I start to feel guilty about reading the stuff I stumble upon instead of the stuff I’ve been recommended… though I love, really, getting reading recommendations.

And I *want* to create a to-be-read list, something neat and re-arrangeable like a Netflix queue (though I suffer many of the same problems there).  I have a lengthy list through the KU library’s “backpack” system, though it’s not in any order, and again over at Amazon.com.  I’ve considered buying one of those cute little Books to Read notebooks, even, but I know the futility of it.  Something shiny and new — or old and dark — will catch my eye, and I’ll be off the list once again.

All of that as prologue: I have finished a book!  Ok, it’s the third book this year, I believe.  “A Clash of Kings” by George R.R. Martin.  I’m already part way into the next book (“A Storm of Swords”), which has some perspectives (the chapters are told from different characters’ points of view — I think there are about seven chapter characters in this book) that are rather fun.

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4 Responses to Assigned reading

  1. ellenneithernor says:

    I, too, would like a Netflix for books, for a somewhat similar reason: I can’t seem to get through the books I already own because I keep getting distracted by library books, etc. If I only had one or two books on hand, Netflix-style, I could be assured of finishing them (or giving up on them) faster… if in fact there is a premium on doing so, which I’m beginning to think there is.

  2. kepkanation says:

    Oo, that’s an excellent idea. If all of my unread books but those I’m currently reading (or supposed to be reading) could go away, I’d definitely finish more, and probably finish them more quickly.

    Sometimes there’s just not much of a feeling of urgency.

  3. starstraf says:

    Ohh GRRM – and I can tell you stores of him tonight at crochet (Taco Bar dinner)

    I’m a book horder, I collect MUCH faster then I read (especially since moving to KS – I used to do most of my reading on the train and now that I drive everywhere I read much less, and LJ has taken much of my reading online)

    To add to your list I suggest something by Steven Brust aka The Hungarian.

    I’m sure there is something you can put on Herbie to do a list, or you can use LJ todo list (I’ve decided to try that for movies)

  4. starstraf says:

    dictionary does not have it capatalized

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