toppling from my nightstand . . .


I go on reading binges the same way I go on fabric buying sprees…. The piles of books on my nightstand may seem at first glance as if they couldn’t possibly cohere in any sensible way, but there is usually a thin thread tying them together, at least in the beginning. But in no time the coherence is lost, and I pick up a book wondering, “Why did I check this one out of the library? Why did I buy this one?”

I have friends who log and organize their reading, and I am so envious of them. I admire their clarity, their ambition, their energy. When I worked as a librarian, I kept up with as much middle grade literature as I could. And I read the reviews, if not the books themselves, of everything published for the younger and older sets. I’d read books for adults, for the sheer pleasure of it, on my breaks–summer, winter, or spring. I was organized. My reading had a certain direction. Now that I’m writing full-time, I haven’t been able to pursue the reading I want and need to. You’d think I’d be better at it, but I am lost.

One of my 2017 resolutions is to get back to some ordered reading. I have a new bullet journal. I have lists. Lists of books I need for researching my latest WIPs. Lists of 2016 books that I missed. Lists of adults books that I’ve gone too long without reading. Lists of 2017 books that I don’t want to miss. Lists of poets and essayists whose company I want to keep.

It is mid-January. The books on my nightstand and desk are not the books on my 2017 lists. Not a single one. But in the library, something drew me to them. So, I am going to add them to my lists, and then, of course, dutifully cross them off as I read them. It may be that my mish-mash of reading has more coherence than I know. Time will tell.