the deep, deep depths of my reading recommendation list
Books are probably a lot like crystal meth. I say probably because I’ve never tried crystal meth and it’s not on my to do list, if you know what I mean. This analogy is to illustrate how just a little bit makes you a little crazy and then you need more more more. That’s how drugs work, at least that’s what I gathered from DARE in 1998.
I have a GoodReads account where I keep track of what I’ve read, when I finished it and how much I liked it. I highly recommend getting on the site so you can creepily see what your friends and random old acquaintances are reading. Friends are easy to hold close to your heart in the book department. Shoot a text while you’re at the library, “What should I read next?” They respond. People who you shared one class with in college and really admired for their forward thinking on Cross Cultural Communications don’t respond to texts like that, mainly because I don’t have their phone numbers. This is where GoodReads comes in handy. Now I know what they are reading.
Besides spying on other’s libraries, GoodReads allows me to make a to do list for future books. Whenever I run across a review or click on a 58 BOOKS THAT WILL MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE kind of list, I just open the app, look up the book and boop, click “Want to Read.” Right now there are 299 waiting patiently for me to request them from the library. By the end of the day, there very well could be 10 more.
Right now, I’m working on The Sport of Kings. It’s not the best book I’ve read, but I haven’t given up hope yet. Josh keeps asking me how I like it, and I shrug him off with a “meh.” Last night he asked who recommended it. Here’s the thing, I read a review in the New Yorker and added it to my list. Then the title popped up somewhere else. I recognized it from the first review and added it to my library request list. I really wish I could remember where I saw it but oh well.
Much like walking around Half Price Books and scrolling through lists of X Books to Read Before You’re 30 and 14 Classics Your High School Teacher Never Assigned (why am I such a sucker for those?), these lists make me feel like a good for nothing shulb. What am I even doing? I’m in no way ready to turn 30 or be a functioning member of society because I never read Pride and Prejudice!
Really, I missed that one, and I’ve always meant to go back and read it. Perhaps it’s not too late.
The other day someone emailed me to join this book club thing where they send me 5–10 books each month and I have to write reviews of them. This is my dream job, by the way. The problem here is, it only pays $50 a month. I know! The first thought that passed through my mind was, “Keep you’re filthy money! I’ll read for free! You can’t start paying me and suck the fun out of this.”
Then I thought about how long it would take for me to read five extra books every month. You can’t expect me to stop reading the ones on my own list. Well, I’d need to quit my job, or at least go part time. While I’m not making a ton, the $50/month compensation doesn’t make up for my salary.
The moral of this story is, I should not quit my job for this reading gig.
On the bright side, I have the rest of my life- which I’m hoping is a sold 60 or so more years to chip away at this growing list. If I don’t get to every last one, it’s not like there’s a comprehensive test to get in to Heaven…But what if there is?
(this also appears on my blog.)