One of the features of this blog, which as inclined more lately toward books of all sorts rather than simply religion, is that I only write one post per book read. There’s no law that says this should (or must) be the case, but I’ve held myself to that standard for about a decade now, and if I have trouble recalling a book this blog is generally a kickstarter for my memory before hauling myself off to the attic to find the physical copy—long live print!—to do a bit more detailed work. This method sometimes leads to crises of my own making. Long books take some time to get through. And despite the action-packed picture you get of my life from this web log, many long weeks are spent doing work and I can’t really share the details here. And so it goes.
Like many people I read multiple books at a time. Although I have a kind of general plan, the actual books being read at any one time often depend on my ability to lay my hands on a copy. And since I’m in the final stages of Nightmares with the Bible, I tend to prioritize books I really should read in whole for that tome. I also read (and write) fiction. Normally I reserve my fiction for bedtime reading; it’s more pleasant to prepare for sleep with an engaging story that I know isn’t factual enough to haunt me. Sometimes the fiction is a long book too. Two lengthy books going simultaneously feels like trying to pass a truck going uphill. Or swimming underwater. The insistence of the necessity of taking a breath (writing a blog post on a book) strains against me as I look up and see the surface still some distance away. Drowning in words, however, isn’t that bad.
As I confessed to a friend the other day, I am a graphomaniac. I write incessantly. To do that it helps to read incessantly. At any one time I’ve got several books going, and I’ll let you know when I reach the end of any of them. This is, I suppose, the bookish life. Ironically I read more now than when I was a professor. Those days were filled with lesson prep, teaching, and reading student papers. Grading tests. Fulfilling administrative duties. On the days when I feel like lamenting my lack of time (and those are most days) I need to remind myself that a great deal more of my effort is now spent with books than it used to be. You’ll have to trust me on that since I don’t always get to write about reading until the long books are done. And that’s okay by me.