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Choosing the next read - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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Choosing the next read [Jul. 25th, 2011|08:48 pm]
Zoethe
I finished Patrick Rothfuss' A Wise Man's Fears yesterday, which meant that when I decided that a hot bath would be good for my sore and aching body, I had to pick a new book for bath time.

This is always a moment of some dismay for me. Not because I don't have much to choose from, but because I have TOO much to choose from. My book collection is like a hydra: every time I finish one book, it seems I've added at least two more to my "To Read" pile. And while I love having so many books from which to choose, it also means that there are many books that will be left on the shelf, not being read at this time. Because much of my reading time these days is also bath time. Yes, I am a bather. I prefer a long soak, and the reading time it affords, to a quick shower. Always have; always will. I've finished countless books while in the tub, twisting the faucet on with my toes to refill the hot water as the tub cools. Getting near the end of a good book often means emerging very wrinkly after far too long in the tub. And enduring the minor angst of rushing to choose a book before the tub overfills.

Once a book reaches the "beside the bathtub" state, it rarely gets retired back to the "to be read" shelves, so I like to choose carefully. I don't want to find myself bored, because I don't want to be trailing water through the house in search of a different book. I like reads that have reasonably short chapters so I can have plenty of good stopping off points in it.

But mostly, I want to be reading more more more of the books that are available. But the tub is filling fast and it's time to choose, so I grab one and go. And every other one gets my vague wince of guilt that I haven't read it yet and my mental promise that it will be soon.

Soon.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: lady_kathana
2011-07-26 12:56 am (UTC)
The book I'm pimping right now is THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS by J.K. Jemisin. Beautiful story with many layers. It's the first in a planned trilogy, but stands very well on its own and the second book is already released. http://nkjemisin.com/books/the-inheritance-trilogy/the-hundred-thousand-kingdoms/
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-07-26 02:05 am (UTC)
Checking..... Yes. There it is, waiting on the To Be Read shelf. Well, one of several To Be Read shelves here at my house. I think it looks a bit despondent, but that could just be me projecting my guilt....
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[User Picture]From: fallconsmate
2011-07-26 12:58 am (UTC)
i ran across a freebie iphone app....200 or so classic books. free. bronte, austin, twain, poe, to just name a few.

i emailed my daughter at 3 am "your mother is an idiot for re-reading little women when she's missing her daughter." (her given name is beth.)

happy reading and soaking to you!!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-07-26 02:06 am (UTC)
I will have to look for that. And yes, that is a foolish - and yet utterly understandable - thing to do!
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-07-26 12:22 pm (UTC)
52 Loaves, a memoir about learning to bake bread, since I need to get inspired to get my regular kitchen routines back on track.
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[User Picture]From: serenechaos
2011-07-26 01:13 pm (UTC)
The obvious solution is to not take a bath until Rothfuss releases his next book.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-07-26 01:26 pm (UTC)
Considering it was almost 5 years between the others, I think there will be some social and professional issues with that plan!
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[User Picture]From: serenechaos
2011-07-26 01:27 pm (UTC)
Totally worth it.
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From: simulated_knave
2011-07-26 02:23 pm (UTC)
For some reason, this reminded me of my grandmother, who used to do most of her reading in the bath.

However, she would inevitably drop the books in. And so they'd swell up to three times their previous size. And they were library books.

Granddad would get to take them back.

Anyway...

The trick is, I find, to grit your teeth and get rid of the ones you're not actually going to read. There're a lot of books I tell myself I just need to be in the right mood to read, but if that mood is never going to come I might as well just get rid of them.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-07-26 04:21 pm (UTC)
You mean...abandon them? They'd be so sad!!!

(Yes, I know I'm insane.)
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From: simulated_knave
2011-07-26 05:51 pm (UTC)
And what if someone didn't buy them/take care of them properly? They'd be so lonely!

It's an insanity I share, unfortunately.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-07-26 04:59 pm (UTC)
Oh, and I would never read a library book in the tub!!!
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[User Picture]From: justbeast
2011-07-26 04:21 pm (UTC)
Ahh, this is very familiar! I, too, find choosing which book I should read next very stressful :)
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-07-26 04:56 pm (UTC)
The luxury of a too many options, as a friend once said.
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[User Picture]From: justbeast
2011-07-26 05:04 pm (UTC)
Oh very true.
But these days.. while it's still a luxury, it's also just a fact of the environment. We have to live with too many choices (in food, in books, games, movies, even partners (as some of my single acquaintances using OKCupid and other such sites are pointing out)).

And we need better tools and concepts to navigate the embarassments of riches, I think :)

I certainly don't have those yet. I'm trying to come up with them, in my weird OCD-vampire kind of way :)
Not sure it's working
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-07-27 05:47 pm (UTC)
The too-many-options thing is definitely a problem I suffer from. It's paralyzing. Better tools would be appreciated.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-07-27 06:01 pm (UTC)
The too-many-options thing is definitely a problem I suffer from. It's paralyzing. Better tools would be appreciated.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-07-28 03:20 am (UTC)
The too-many-options thing is definitely a problem I suffer from. It's paralyzing. Better tools would be appreciated.
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From: anonymousalex
2011-07-26 04:38 pm (UTC)
I'm not a bath reader (too afraid of getting the book wet), but I know the too many choices dilemma all too well.

The bad part is that while I've finally disciplined myself to use the library instead of buying all the books I might read, sometimes that means that I've forgotten some of the books on my list when it's time to get the next one.

-Alex
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-07-26 04:58 pm (UTC)
If you have a smart phone, Good Books is a great resource for that: just add all books you want to read to your to-be-read list, then at the library pull that list up.

If I could just stop using book-buying as a treat, that might even work for me....
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From: anonymousalex
2011-07-26 06:05 pm (UTC)
This "smart phone" of which you speak, is that similar to the sell-you-larr phones I've been hearing about?

Oh, and I didn't say I don't buy books, just that I don't buy all of them. :-)

-Alex
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-07-26 08:26 pm (UTC)
I salute your Luddite ways.
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[User Picture]From: shannabannanna
2011-07-26 10:41 pm (UTC)
This is so me. I was telling my girlfriends last night that I get a very overwhelming feeling when I look at the stack of books on my night stand and feel sad when I think about all of the books I will never get to read.

I am also terrible on the environment because I have a shower every morning and a bath every night. I don't feel like I've had closure to my day if I miss my bath-and-reading time, but I need that shower in the morning to wake up and give my hair any hope.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-07-27 03:45 am (UTC)
Yes, the feeling of helplessness over books unread is quite sad.

This was almost a two-bath day, but I just plain ran out of time.
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[User Picture]From: shannabannanna
2011-07-28 04:27 am (UTC)
I love it. I sometimes have 2 baths, too.
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[User Picture]From: fitfool
2011-08-01 12:44 pm (UTC)
I could never let myself read in the tub. I'd be too worried about getting the book wet.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2011-08-01 01:50 pm (UTC)
Tub reading is one of life's great pleasures for me. I can't imagine living without it.
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