Barbara's Random Thoughts

Friday, March 10, 2006

Reading, writing, and...well, we'll just leave off the arithmetic

For a little over a year, I've been meeting with various friends for a book club. (I still feel somewhat middle-aged-housewife saying "book club." Oh well.) It's interesting to me how this has affected my reading habits. Book club books more readily push their way to the front of the reading queue--because I have to finish the book on time and come up with something at least semi-intelligent to say about it. The closer book club gets, the more pressing the need to complete the chosen book.

I've mentioned before that I own an embarrassingly large number of books that I haven't yet read. Add to these the books I buy because I'm excited to read them right away. (Or because I found something promising on the remainder table.) I try to shoehorn these into our book club selections, but they keep getting shot down. I guess I'm just too democratic. Darn you book clubbers! (Completely random aside: "book clubbers" reminds me of an old Newsboys song from when I was in high school: "Breakfast Clubbers, say the motto / that he taught us to repeat: / 'You will lose it in your gym class / if you wait till noon to eat.'" Man, I haven't thought of the Newsboys in ages...)

Then there are the books borrowed from friends. Julie lent me the first of the Lymond Chronicles in November, maybe earlier. I've only recently invested time in it, because I've been distracted by book club books and potential book club books. But a borrowed book has a greater sense of immediacy than one I already own. After all, I can read my books any time.

Now, add the library to the mix. Library books are even more immediate. They must go back in three weeks! Yes, they can be renewed, but not indefinitely. And I am weak at the library. I went to return a book last night, with the halfhearted goal of walking out empty-handed. If I'd been wholly committed to this goal, I would have returned the book at the slot outside, rather than walking in. Walking in was a sign of weakened resolve: "Oh, I'll just walk past the new fiction..." I left with three more books. Now these will push their way further up in the queue.

And so, I am left with a shelf full of books I wholeheartedly intended to read, once upon a time. This is the area of my life where I am an optimist. I will read them, someday! (Keep me away from the library and bookstore, and I might just be ok.)

Aaaand, writing. On my way to Bible study on Tuesday night, some music I was listening to and some things kicking around in my head led to a couple of ideas for poems and an idea for something to write for the YAF newsletter. That was cool. I feel like I haven't had much to write lately, or rather, I haven't had the words in which to say it. Especially when it comes to poetry. Ironically, a creative writing class at Biola sort of turned off the writing a bit for me. I think I got to the point in that class where I could evaluate my writing better, and realized: hey, my poetry kind of sucks. Since then, I haven't written many poems that I feel are worthwhile. But reading more poetry lately has helped. I started tinkering with a couple of poems on Tuesday, and I'll probably sit on them for a while, but I might post one soon if I manage to convince myself that it doesn't suck.


| posted by Barbara | 2:04 AM