The imperfect storm

The meteorological conditions were superb. Unfortunately, the bookish ones were not.

Despite a blizzard providing a perfect excuse to be sequestered indoors and plenty of books on the TBR shelves and Nook, my reading so far this weekend has been abysmal. First, although about a third of the way in, I gave up on Mark Twain’s autobiography. For whatever reason, it just didn’t keep my interest. In fact, despite the fact I started in on Thanksgiving, I read four others books during the roughly two weeks I spent with Twain. I finally just punted. No worries, though, given the books on the TBR shelf by my reading chair and the larger one in the bedroom.

Yet none of them really intrigued me. I picked up and put down at least half a dozen books, never making it more than two pages into any one of them. Still no problem. After all there’s more than 50 e-books on my Nook (95 percent of which were free from B&N, Project Gutenberg or the new Google e-bookstore). I got about 60 pages into Orhan Pamuk’s My Name Is Red. My mind, though, was too unfocused for the multiple narrators and folk tales within the tale. I then switched to…. Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho. Only in retrospect did I realize that leap suggested just how nebulous my reading interests are.

But it isn’t necessarily a barometric state. It’s something I’ve been dealing with for a week. Perhaps the idea of reading what I want when I want is too freeing. And I’m guessing that before the day is out, I will have abandoned Ellis for another author. In fact, I checked out an ebook from the public library this morning — and even now am contemplating a jaunt to the library to return some books and see if anything grabs me as I wander amongst the shelves.

Some live in a state of passionate indecision.

Mason Cooley, City Aphorisms, Twelfth Selection

1 comment to The imperfect storm

  • Darn. I read a review–in The New Yorker? NYRB?–that might have made you feel better about the Twain book. The review said that the book simply wandered a bit too much.

    Of course in his fiction, Twain is incomparable.