To have time to read is, I swear, the ultimate luxury. But at the same time, it’s nourishment for the soul. And I consider it a necessity. To be brain-fried to a level where you cannot sit with one book for FOMO regarding all of the other books you’ve bought or have on loan might sound like making up an excuse to write something because a thrice-weekly deadline has just snuck up out of nowhere and it’s a lockdown and newsletters don’t (quite) write themselves (yet). But it’s still real to me, dammit!
I’m still reading some of the volumes of The Stand graphic novel – and it’s great, I’m just biting them off in tiny snack-sized gulps. I’ve read a few other graphic novels. Some poetry. Made a bit of progress with the new 2pac bio – and I finished that pesky Woody Allen memoir (pesky in that I started it last lockdown, parked it – then finally decided I had to get through it. It wasn’t great. But it’s done now).
So it was going okay.
And then this week I could not pick a book to read.
Books everywhere. All through the house. The good people at Wellington Central Libraries messaged us all to tell us our books would be auto-renewed until late-September. Which is good because I’ve got a heap out. And there’s all the other books at home already.
The other night I started reading essays, only to stop at the end of the foreword. A book about a person going incognito to examine the hate-groups of online extremists, a new book about the films of Stanley Kubrick, the recently reissued Bessie Smith bio, some Helen Garner short stories, a bunch of Stephen King titles (some old, some brand new) and Danyl Mclaughlin’s new set of essays.
All of them look great. And some of them started off brilliantly! But my mind wanders through too many open tabs.
And there’s movies. And music. And podcasts. And I’ve just signed back up with Audible…
These are the complaints of the privileged. There is food in the fridge. The bills are being paid. We all have clean clothes, and the roof doesn’t leak. It’s not really a complaint at all. A tiny bit of frustration and unease. In a time of much frustration and unease.
I will find my groove with reading again. Soon. I’m still getting through an enormous amount of reading as it is. I read in stolen moments. That’s just how it goes now.