Tone Shift


But do I really WANT a soft book?

I knew something was off when I went into the library and couldn’t find a book to read. I typically find myself limiting a trip to the library to under fifteen minutes, lest I emerge with a dozen books and no time to read them. Instead, I found myself wandering among the stacks in search of something, anything, that would speak to me. Did I want something off the Popular Picks shelf? This would usually be a goldmine for me, but the titles all seemed to be rather politically slanted and off putting. I wandered over to the computer to see if I could remember any titles from my list of books to read but failed to come up with anything.

I drifted aimlessly into the non fiction section ( to my own astonishment- I’m not usually drawn to non fiction) and dawdled along the aisles hoping to find a topic that would spark some reaction. Nothing.

I strafed the shelves of biographies trying to muster up the energy to read somebody’s life story. Failed.

I wandered among the fiction shelves trying to think of an author that I felt like seeking out: nothing new from Stephenson. No interest in Steele or Patterson. King was approachable but did I feel like horror? I’d just consumed a massive trilogy from Follett, did I want to start another one so soon?

Titles announced their story’s subject in a few grunted words. Calgary. Gone Girl. Collaborative Intelligence. Red. A week or so ago I’d stumbled across a series of infographics that an artist had put together to show herself where she stood in her life about things like the consumption of dumplings or days left to spend time with her parents. One of these included the number of books that she had left to read in her lifetime: all the others, she concluded, would be stories that she never got to read. I found myself looking at the rows upon rows of books and wondering which of these would be the books that I never got to read- even with a lifetime of year left in front of me.

I left with a stack of books that seemed more like a collection of hedged bets than real inspiring finds. It’s vacation, after all, so I have some time to catch up on a bit of reading even if I don’t pick the perfect book. I can only hope that the cure for my ennui towards book selection can be cured through the consumption of the selections. I came right home and started two, which seems promising.

So I’m still trying to get the hang of this vacation business. Without the structure of deadlines and to do lists I am lost.


~ by Gwydhar Gebien on December 21, 2015.

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