Notes from a Poly-Reader #7

So renting library books is completely cramping my poly-reading style. It’s the due dates! (And I mean, 3 x renewal-style due dates…) Juggling multiple books has one major drawback, and that’s individual turn-around time on any one read. A relatively simple book might still take me a few months to finish, depending on the type of book and the moods I’m in during that time. I may just not be drawn to a particular story or kind of book for weeks, which allows me to indulge in some other book for a while. But library books have the added fear-factor of cumulative fines and my own personal obsession with not inconveniencing others who might also want to read a book I’ve got checked out. This kind of forces–at least by the final renewal notice–a single-book reading process, just to make sure that I finish a given book by the time I have to return it, and that in turn slows down the progress on other books I have sitting around (usually ones I already own, because they don’t have due dates).

I think I’m going to have to come up with a rule about library books. I love them, because I can check out a bunch of books I might like to read but not necessarily own. On the other hand, I’m tired of having to focus on a particular book simply because I’ll lose it on a certain date. Other poly-readers may be faster than I am, but I keep a pretty leisurely pace. I don’t like feeling rushed, I like reading for the day, the mood, the genre. I hate having to read one specific book simply because it’s due in a few days, even if I’m enjoying the book otherwise.

And I simply cannot, cannot, cannot allow myself to check out multiple library books at once! No matter how much I love that armful of things to read (man, how I loved that feeling as a kid on summer vacation with a load of adventures piled up to my nose! And the accomplishment I felt when I brought them all back, finished!), I just don’t have the speed to do that right now. I’m in a perpetual “renew again” mode, and it’s no good, especially when most of the library stack just sits there while I try to gun through whichever one is due first.

I’ll just have to treat the library like Aladdin’s Cave of Wonders: touch nothing but the book I’ve reserved or decided ahead of time to get. NOTHING ELSE. And even then, I probably need to pick a month now and then to deliberately NOT check anything out so that I can focus on the books I already own (which look mournfully from the bookshelf and whisper, “please…please pick me…”).

On that note, the current reading list is:


The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2014- Same place I was last check-in, haven’t made any progress. It’s not because I don’t want to, either, because I’ve been thinking about the stories I’ve already checked out in here a lot, and I really, really want to absorb some more. But I own this one, so it’s been delayed by Due Date Syndrome. Top priority moving forward…


Selected Stories of O. Henry – …-_-

Osama – ……. O_O

Albedo One – This was supposed to be one of those “quick finish” reads I pick up at the end of a month to bump my reading numbers up a bit, but I have’t so much as cracked the cover in weeks. I need to just commit to getting it done and off this list. It’s a fine magazine, I just need to commit.

Authority – At last, one with some good progress! In fact, I’m fairly certain I’ll be finishing this one this week. Had a little holdup when the audiobook I’d checked out expired and got checked out by someone else, but am back on the ball and still loving it. VanderMeer does eerie paranoia so damned well, it gets under your skin in a big way. Love it!

The Girls – 184 of 355 – One of my multi-library book picks, and I’m enjoying it a lot. It’s got an unnerving darkness to it, but it’s as hypnotic as the guru it describes. I have to return it to the library today, but I’ve got a hold on the ebook, so once that comes in, I’ll be able to finish it.

The Soul of an Octopus – I’m still trying to figure out how to get my hands on the audiobook. I got a bit of birthday money, so I may just spring for it via audible (or do the free trial again, if I can, and pick it up that way). I’m aiming for this to be my next audiobook read after I wrap up Authority.


And on top of all those, I’ve got a few books coming in via the B-Day, namely Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin, 10 Count by Rihito Takarai (manga), The Kraken Sea by E. Catherine Tobler, and of course I need to read I Am Providence by Nick Mamatas, (and Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace, and Long Hidden edited by Sofia Samatar and Thoraiya Dyer) which I got a month (or more) ago but have been so wrapped up in these library books, I haven’t had a chance to get into yet. But I will! And Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré, which I’ve been meaning to read for the whole summer. OY. No pressure, right?!

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