I feel enormous pressure to read. I never seem to read as fast as I would like, thus I never seem to read as many books as I feel like I should. It really is troublesome because, frankly, feeling this way prevents me from leisurely enjoying what I'm reading. Instead, it feels more like, "Hurry! Hurry! There are SO many other books to read!" The Books I Have Yet to Read are
crowding around me, demanding to be read, shouting, "Read me! Pick me!" I'm haunted by all the books I haven't read, thus all the vicarious adventures I haven't had and the information I
Case in point: for a month now I have been reading The Discovery of France: A Historical Geography, from the Revolution to the First World War by Graham Robb. It's a 450-page tome but, one month in, and I've only read about 150 pages. But I feel as if I'm learning when I read it. I feel smarter by reading it. Not to mention that it's absolutely fascinating...I never thought about the
origins of French national identity - it has always seemed this ubiquitous thing - and it never occurred to me that, even as recent as the late 19th century, France was a divided, disjointednation. The idea of "national identity" came out of Paris, of course, and the villages in France weren't buying what they were selling.
But it's slow-going. And other books are calling to me...screaming at me, really. I just finished E. Lockhart's Dramarama so I was able to read that and
Discovery of France at the same time. But still...they keep calling to me...I hear their voices...
Teashop Girls by Laura Schaefer: "I have delectable treats and lovely passages about loose tea. Not to mention that Betsy called me 'THE foodie book of 2008'.
The Art of Eating by MFK Fisher: "Mouth-watering food descriptions and achingly eloquent prose await you. Get lost in my pages!"
The Underneath by Kathi Appelt: "I might be a big award winner. And you're the
ONLY LIBRARIAN who hasn't read me! Don't be left out!"
Lucky Breaks by Susan Patron: "You know you're curious. Come on, read me.
You're a librarian - you know you should read me."
Food Politics by Marion Nestle: "Patricia just told you she's going
to ALA Midwinter, and you know she'll ask you if you've read me yet. And you haven't...7 months after she recommended me to you. And she read Omnivore's Dilemma after you recommended it. You have an obligation to read me!"
Brooklyn Bridge by Karen Hesse: "You haven't read me yet?! Really?! Come ON!"
Yes, my books heckle me. It's exhausting.
So do I give up Discovery of France to appease the other books?