Saturday, May 12, 2007

Paralyzed Reader


I have a confession to make. I'm a paralyzed reader. That is to say, my "to be read" (TBR) pile has reached such staggering heights that I'm overrun by choices and consequently paralyzed by indecision.

I've been reading The New Yorkers: A Novel, by Cathleen Schine, but I got stalled when I had to finish my thesis revisions and write the paper for my Lit. Theory class this past week. What started as a quaint foray into a NYC neighborhood full of quirky characters now seems like a slog. But, it's a review book from a publisher, so I have to finish it. And, in all honesty, I think it'll be OK if I can JUST GET BACK INTO IT!

But, beyond the one book at hand, there are a zillion more waiting to take its place. I have classics, I have contemporary literary fiction, I have trash, I have children's/YA books, I have memoirs and non-fiction piled on top of memoirs and more non-fiction. The especially forward, headstrong books have been climbing out of the shelves at night, hopping into bed with me, snuggling up and whispering in my ears to "pick me! pick me!". I put them back in the morning and go back to my indecision.

I'm sick of horrible TV and there's nothing I'd rather do than read. But. I. Can't.
Some people call this "The English Major Curse." I call it "Driving Me Stark Raving Mad."

I hope it subsides soon.

I'll be housesitting for one of my professors this weekend (Saturday-Monday). She has a fantastic house and a loooovely pool, so I plan to find a floaty and read while I'm catching some rays. I'll be around a computer at some point, but I would imagine I'll be waterlogged for the majority of the weekend.

*Note: Pictured above, the ever-so-square secretary from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. But you, cool reader, already knew that, I'm sure. She looks stunned by indecision doesn't she?

14 comments:

  1. Boo to reader's block eh?

    I do think the secretary had a 'secret', not so square, side though - she called Ferris a 'righteous dude'. That phrase was cool in the 80s, right?

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  2. I haven't seen that movie in ages. Too fun! Blah about the reading paralysis though- hope the weekend lazing in the sun helps.

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  3. I have myself in so many challenges that my reading is mapped out for me for most of the rest of the year. That's sort of helped me with any paralysis I might suffer from when it comes to choosing what to read next. Still, I know exactly what you mean! Surrounded by so many unread books myself and with so many that sound so good right now, it can be hard to chose just one.

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  4. I'm slogging (but enjoying) my way through The Agony and the Ecstasy in an attempt to retrain myself to read. I keep on buying and not reading and it's a bit worrying. The iPod stays home now for the commute but is pressed into service on the treadmill.

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  5. I go through this too. And I usually reread something likes Dorothy Sayers or Woodhouse. It will go away eventually.

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  6. It's the worst. I'm having a bit of the reader's block myself, at the worst time, since I'm in two reading groups with deadlines. This is why I never (usually) join the things: my brain gets stubborn.

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  7. I would recommend floating and relaxing sans book. Give your brain a break. It needs it. :)

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  8. Indecision sucks, but it will pass. Sometimes, I just keep picking up books until I find one that works and I don't stop reading. And, yep, I recognized the Ferris Bueller secretary. Love that movie!

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  9. If you are just desperate to read something, I think what you need is some pure, unadulterated fluff. Pick up a Jennifer Crusie or Jennifer Weiner.

    I recognized her too. One of my favorite movies ever!

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  10. I agree with you! She was a naughty one outside of school for sure! :)

    Nat, so far it's been a big help. I think once I go back to my own house and my favorite reading spot I'll be ready to read again.

    Lit Feline, I get antsy once I start mapping out my reading much. I guess that's partly a biproduct of being in school so long. If it looks like an assignment I run the other way. :D

    Dale, that book is huge. I definitely wouldn't attempt it at this juncture. I have it on my shelves, though! I think it's been there for a good 10 years. I really should give it a go I suppose. Now that I'm not strapped with school I might try a big chunky book.

    Lu, I've never read either of those authors. Although, I do havea Wodehouse waiting on my shelves that Bookfool sent me. Maybe that's just what the doctor ordered.

    Imani, same here! I call it the English major curse, but I think it's the curse of anyone who's had to deal with assigned reading at any length.

    Cdnreader, I've done exactly that. I have a nice lobstery sunburn to show for it, too. ;)

    Great movie, isn't it BF?? Love love love it. I think I'm gonna give a book of essays a go. Small reading chunks usually work nicely.

    Heather, good idea! I haven't read a Crusie in ages. I have a couple on my shelves. OOOOh, or I could re-read Bet Me. That book was yummy. I'm all about sexual tension to relieve reader's block.

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  11. I have been going through this phase for over a year now. It is driving me crazy. I seem to be get all excited about a book and suddenly I get stuck. My TBR pile is there with yours.

    I need a remedy for this!

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  12. I'm blocked too. Not the curse of the English major, but the curse of a cataloguer. I touch so many books during the day I don't feel like looking at them when I'm home. Video games are my friend.

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  13. Christine, isn't it the most frustrating thing! Even if I like a book..I get stuck! Blah!

    LOL, Heather! I felt the same way when I worked in a library.

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  14. I've been there more times then I can count;-)

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