This week has been another poor week for reading. Actually, this is the second poor reading week for me this month. I started reading The Wife’s Tale by Lori Lansens sometime last week. The day after I started it, we had a big ruckus at our flat and had to move briefly into a neighbouring flat. This was a major distraction and was time consuming. The following days, being in a new place, I found it difficult to get back into my regular routines. Being in a new place always feels, at first, like being in the Twilight Zone. Everything is different and you often don’t have the same visual cues to prompt your brain and body into engaging in your normal activities. Anyway, I digress. What I am wanting to say, is that I think I am starting to see a pattern in the occurrence of these events. When we moved, I was at the beginning of my new book, really, just in the first forty pages or so. That is the pattern I have noticed. When I am getting distracted from my reading by other things it is often during the first sixty pages or so of the book. I clearly do not have the same hunger for reading during the initial pages of any book, even the best of books, than I do further on in the story. The last couple of days I have managed to get back into The Wife’s Tale and immediately started craving more of the story. I had a hunger; every chance I had, I needed to pick up the book and devourer more of the story.
It is somewhat of a paradox that t I should not be as ravenous in the beginning of a story as I am later on. I say this, because I have this thing about starting new books. When I get into the final eighty pages or so of an old book, I absolutely must stay up, no matter how late, to finish the book, because the most important thing becomes starting the next book. Nothing excites me more than starting a new read. Actually, it’s not even starting a new book that excites me, but the choosing of the next book. As soon as I finish a book, I must immediately go to my bookshelf and stand in front of it for a good fifteen minutes scrutinizing its contents. If I finish a book when I am out somewhere, I will do everything I can to get home as quickly as possible so I can make that next careful selection.
Once I choose my new read, I open it up and read the first few pages. Oh no…I don’t mean the first few pages of the story…I mean, literally, the first few pages of the book. I will examine the title page, ogling the publisher’s logo at the bottom of it, carefully look for the copyright date and the printing date of the particular edition I am holding and always, always, read the dedication. Often, I will then stick my old, dilapidated, Winnie the Pooh bookmark (the only thing I use to mark the pages in my books) in at the first page of the first chapter, set the book down, and walk away. I might return to the book in a few hours or a few days, but I take great satisfaction in placing my bookmark inside a brand new read and knowing that I have “started” something new.
How nuts am I?