Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The tragedy of an addicted book lover...

I left the house without my book this morning.

For those who aren't as addicted as me, this is the WORST thing that could possibly happen. During week nights I usually don't have much time to read. While I can usually sneak in an hour or so when the writing center is slow, between grading stacks of essays, and during my office hours, the nights are barren. However, last night was a special treat. It was "conference week" for my Monday night writing class; in other words they could come in if they were worried about their grades, but there are only four of them and they're all doing fine. No one showed up, so I got home around 6:45, ate some leftovers, and settled into my reading chair with Special Topics in Calamity Physics (has one of the coolest websites ever. Click and see.)

Many of you who have read this blog for a while, might've noticed a trend. I shy away from long books. The reason? Teaching fives classes spread between two different schools has taken its toll on my attention span. Undoubtedly I was THRILLED when Special Topics, in its 500-page glory, grabbed me by the nosehairs. I'm currently right around page 330 and flying through.

Well, until today that is.

So after I logged some serious reading time last night I was even MORE hooked on the book. I was getting to some really mysterious, creepy, thought-provoking, climactic bits, and I even took the book to bed with me to squeeeeze in a few more pages before I killed the lights.

When I placed the book on B's nightstand (closest to the door, easiest to notice in the morning) I tried to log a mental reminder to put the book in my bag this morning before leaving.

No go.

Even though I NOTICED the book while I was getting dressed...FIVE MINUTES before I left, I still didn't remember to put it in my bag. It's still there. Sitting. Alone. Waiting for me to get home tonight (at 10:00 when I won't want to read it). I would equate this great reading tragedy with one of those moments in the Julia Roberts movie, Something to Talk About, when she is too overrun with thoughts of her divorce to actually remember to put her child in the car with her. Her sister chases her and and reunites mother and daughter in a wonderfully comic moment. But this is not comedy, kids. Oh no, I have forgotten my book, and THAT is a shameful and regretful turn of events.

But my story does have something of a happy ending. Since I work in a college and spend three hours of my day in the mezzanine right over the library, I can check stuff out on whims. Great, wonderful, dashing whims. When I decided that Little Women (my emergency office book stash) was a slog today, I ran downstairs and checked out O Pioneers!, by Willa Cather, and I think I'm in love! I knocked off a good 80 pages in no time, and now that I'm done running copies of the final exam I'm giving tonight, I'm gonna dive back in. Special Topics has competition.

Excuse me, won't you?

Yep, book love. It's a fickle, fickle thing.

15 comments:

  1. Not that much of a tragedy if you can think about it. You can't always be reading. Take a break and write sometimes in the morning instead. A small yellow lined pad works well on subways, buses, and other places.

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  2. When I read your first line, I thought, "Ohmygosh, that is awful!" I can't bear it when I haven't got a book at hand, so I keep an entire basket full of emergency books in the trunk of my car. Seriously.

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  3. Calendar, well the "tragedy" part was mostly in gest. Humorous if you will (or not, depending). While I appreciate your suggestion, I find that I'm a slave to my computer when it comes to writing. I type much faster than I write, so while I do keep a journal and usually have a legal pad nearby, I much prefer to pull up at the computer for purposes of writing. Once I sink into it there's no dragging me away. Plus, reading is in short supply, as I mentioned, so I have to get my kicks where I can.

    Ooh, an emergency basket. I think you're onto something, Nancy!

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  4. I am glad you are reading Special Topics first and giving us the scoop. I bought the book several months ago and have not found time to read it. I keep doing that, buying books I do not have time to read. I just bought The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Kline even though I still need to finish The World According to Garp and Sedari's Naked (almost finished with that one), why do I do it? I am a book junky! Bye the way, how are the literary poppets and the alien buggers getting on? See ya in the funny papers. TTFN

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  5. Oh, the horror of not having a book at hand. I make sure I always have a book in my purse, even if I'm just running errands, because...well, you never know. But glad you found something else to read!

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  6. I can certainly relate, I've done that same thing before myself. For a book lover that is indeed a tragedy. Lucky for you the solution was at hand!

    So the question is, which book gets read tonight at home?

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  7. The Horror! I understand completely--I feel naked if I forget to bring a book. You never know when you can steal a few minutes for reading. The tragedy is especially great for the end of that book--I think I stayed up all night to finish it.

    I love Willa Cather.

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  8. Chris, I agree! I read more of it last night while my students were taking their test, and I'm totally hooked. Alexandra is SUCH a great character!

    Fem, join the ranks of the book junkies, sweetheart. You're among friends. And more friends. And more friends. :) The little alien buggers are doing well. Almost ready to make their bloggy debut...as soon as I clean my house.

    Jen, me too! I can't believe I forgot it. I'm surprised I didn't notice the missing heft in my school bag!

    Carl, I'm keeping Special Topics at the forefront of my reading until it's done (probably today or tomorrow) and then I'll sweep through the rest of O Pioneers. BOTH are so yummy!

    Purl, don't say it! Don't say "up all night!" Because I will! Stay up! I feel SURE of it!!! Soooo gooood.

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  9. I am glad you were able to find an alternate! It could have been much worse had you not been in a position to find something else on the spur of the moment. I've been in that position and it's miserable making. :S Enjoy your reading!

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  10. I nearly always take a book with me wherever I go. The day before Thanksgiving I offered to do someone a favor thinking it would just take a few minutes--a quick in out thing. It turned out to be like a two hour thing and I had nothing to read--it was horrible. And there was not even any other reading material to pick up. I would love to read O Pioneers--it was always a big thing--the nuns recommended it constantly in high school, so of course I totally ignored it. I think I'd like Willa Cather though!

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  11. I hate leaving the house without a book - I don't care where I'm going, I have to have a book because you never know when you have to wait in line, wait for a person, wait in traffic, etc. So how is Special Topics going now?

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  12. Lit Feline, and then I thought I did it AGAIN this morning!!!! But, luckily, I was wrong. I had put the book in my school bag after all.

    Danielle, I think you would LOOOOVE Cather. In fact, you might consider some of her work for your Short Story Sunday! There's an especially good one about a funeral. The title slips my mind, but I'll pass it along to you when it comes back to me. The magic of Cather is really her imagery and the simiplicity of her language. So simple but SO full of meaning at the same time.

    Iliana, I finished Special Topics last night!!! It was soooo good. I have a post coming up all about it. Stay tuned!

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