Monday, July 18, 2011

Familiar Ground

The new blogger interface notwithstanding, I find myself on familiar ground. Or more accurately, I'm there again — staring at a bookshelf filled with books, most of which I've read before, some I never had interest in to begin with, and not a single title is screaming at me to read it. The pile of books on my side of the bed? Same story. The pile next to my wife's side? That's what I've been diving into for the past couple months and there's nothing left but the greasy, fatty skin left from the work of a writer I won't name here. And no, that's not a Voldemort reference; I want to read more of those, actually, but only have the first book.

Sometimes I go through phases. A year ago, I swept through the John Connolly books again, and not long before that I was into Christopher Moore for a second go-round. I can always crack open Tolkein, but after you've read it a dozen times, you start to wonder why you want to make that type of time investment again; the pleasure of reading is very much still there, but ... well, sometimes you crave something different.

So I've decided to dive into short stories again. I've been getting into the One Story items that I don't always have time for when they arrive. The joy of short stories is, even if they're not great, they're not so long that you feel like you wasted your time. And when they're really good, you feel like you've discovered a new element, seen a shooting star, or met the person of your dreams. You're willing to keep learning more about that writer. Of course, sometimes when you do so, you find out that the element was discovered long ago, or it was just space junk, or maybe she isn't nearly as pretty as you thought in the dark bar.

Ah, the joy of discovery!

So, what do you do when you're not sure what to read next?


Anonymous said...

I write, but of course!

Sadly, my time has been so limited lately that I have must-read books on my nightstand that I've not even cracked. Not because I don't want to, but because I have no time.

Usually when I feel adrift, I reread my perennial favorites from my childhood. This usually sparks something.

Caroline Hagood said...

I've been in a similar reading mood. For much the same reason that you turn to short stories, I turn to poetry.

Matt Sinclair said...

I have always loved poetry, too, but I'll admit that yours is pretty much the only poetry I've read consistently for several years now. And I presume you have much more than what you share on Culture Sandwich.

Matt Sinclair said...

Time really is the killer, isn't it. Before my daughters were born, I read a lot more on the train, but I often need to catch a few winks even now that they sleep through the night.