I am a compulsive and restless reader. At any one time, I’m in the midst of a novel and at least two non-fiction books plus a number of periodicals. I keep lighter reading magazines in the bathroom at all times and cart the more cerebral journals and reviews around with me, just in case I’m stuck in traffic or stop for a cup of tea somewhere. I have a stack of books next to my chair in the living room, a stack of books on the shelf next to my bed, and two shelves of “new arrivals” in the study.
In theory, once I finish reading something it can go on the appropriate bookshelf in the study. The only hitch is if I want to take notes from the book before I shelve it, in which case it sits around, little Post-It flags sticking out the side, until I get around to the task. In an ideal world, I would sit down right away — possibly even as I read — and write out the notes while they are still fresh in my mind. With the current time lag, I sometimes look at a flagged page and have no earthly idea what I wanted to glean from it. Fortunately I’m not one to lay awake at night until I figure it out; experience has taught me that anything I have to work that hard to remember is never worth it. Thank goodness I’m fairly good at letting things go.
Sometimes I worry I’m a little too good at it.