Thursday, June 29, 2006

A slightly random-seeming question, perhaps:

Do you, like, check out five books from the library and not finish any of them? I mean: is this normal?

20 comments:

antiprincess said...

not five books.

more like fifteen. (I'm such an overachiever...)

Dana said...

I'm with antiprincess. The library is, quite possibly, my best friend and thus I feel compelled to impress her by taking out WAY more books than I'll ever read before they're due. Then I sulk when it's time to return them.

Alon Levy said...

I sometimes buy five books and then take months to finish all of them, often buying other books and reading them first.

Howard said...

Yes, that's why I didn't renew my library card when I move back to Denver. I just buy them so I feel I HAVE to read them.

midwesterntransport said...

i have currently had one book of music out of the library for around two months.

i think they're going to ban me.

gandhi rules said...

hmm. Have you read the book you bought at the wiccan store we visited? I'm thinking no.

belledame222 said...

ehhh. a few pages...

SUEB0B said...

Not only not read them, but forget to return them.

Dan L-K said...

I think that's a big factor in how I developed a bookstore habit. They don't have that weird expectation that you're going to bring the books back before you even get around to them.

(I mean, everyone knows that an essential part of the reading process is the three weeks to a year you spend looking at the cover and getting excited. Reading a book as soon as you get it home is like going straight to the monkey sex without even going out for coffee first.)

alphabitch said...

I can't not finish a book. Physically not possible.

I'm not saying youall are wrong -- I'm saying that I have this insomnia-fueled compulsion to read anything I put my hands on. I was that asshole in your philosophy class who finished all the course readings between the day the bookstore opened and the first day of classes.

I don't care how bad it is, or how badly I'll regret staying in the house on yet another beautiful day, or how deeply sorry I'll be for staying up all night -- again -- to read a boring piece of trash that should never have been published in the first place.

Here is how abjectly I am afflicted: I have read books 1-11 of the "Left Behind" series. [Some of them I borrowed from co-workers, but others I sat on a comfy sofa at the local bookstore and read because no fucking way was I going to give those people even one penny, and I didn't want it recorded anywhere that I had checked them out of the library.]

I envy youall for being able to put a book down before it's done. You probably have tidy houses and clean dishes, and friends, and actual lives.

The only household chore I can reliably accomplish is laundry, and you know why? Because I can read while I'm doing it.

I have to hide new books from myself so that I don't start them before bed. Only magazines and short story or essay collections are allowed in the bedroom.

Officially, that is. Sometimes I sneak into bed with a novel. Sometimes I spend the whole night in a chair in the living room so as to obey the letter of the rule while breaking its spirit.

I do forget to return library books, though. I was absolutely thrilled recently when I slunk into the library with a pile of really only slightly overdue books and the librarian informed me that there were no longer fines on books, just videos, DVDs and CDs.

I felt redeemed, and I checked out a whole new pile of books, thinking I could take my time reading them.

I couldn't.

alphabitch said...

PS -- Dan L-K, I think you might be on to something with that last bit. It is exactly like going straight to the monkey sex without even going out for coffee first.

belledame222 said...

>I envy youall for being able to put a book down before it's done. You probably have tidy houses and clean dishes, and friends, and actual lives.


Well, see, not exactly, which is part of the reason why I asked.

Because--just speaking for me, here, understand--I seem to remember having a longer attention span, at least as far as books are concerned. And sometimes I still am, but...

I either get easily distracted or am hyperfocused to the point of total absorption.

recently I have been appraised that this might be a sign of adult ADD.

someone else who *did* get that diagnosis mentioned the five library books business; I was like, "um, I thought that was everyone."

And I do think that most people who love to read do do just that to some degree.

but...more seriously, I have been wondering about myself, lately, for a bunch of other reasons.

kactus said...

I support my local library. I mean, literally support. They bought a new coffee machine for the librarians' lounge on my overdue fees alone.

That said, I have a hard time reading these days. I sit down on the couch to read and within minutes get sleepy and have to take a nap. It's sad.

belledame222 said...

heh. yeah, I couldn't be arsed to return or even watch these three DVD's I have from the local VideoMart or whatever it is. god only knows how much i owe by now.

Dan L-K said...

Well, it's probably also worth noting that once in a while the monkey sex is what you're there for. I mean, I didn't even get American Gods home before I started taking its clothes off.

alphabitch said...

belledame: I was diagnosed with ADD in my late 30s. It's been interesting in a lot of ways, and understanding more about ADD has helped me make peace with a lot of things (my own inefficiencies, my reactions to certain situations, my performance in suboptimal environments). But when it comes to reading (and hot monkey sex, now that I think of it), I think it feels more like it should be called attention surplus disorder.

belledame222 said...

heh.

"hyperfocus" sure could come in handy, at that...

seconded on the Neil Gaiman. pretty much anything by him, really.

just ordered a copy of "Mirrormask" for my very own.

(alphabitch, if you don't mind my asking: are/were you prescribed meds for it?

i'm already on antideps which on the whole have me in a pretty good spot; was wondering if it'd be worth tinkering with it in order to get more...productive.)

belledame222 said...

and by the way, I'd love to hear a review of the Left Behind series.

someone else--was it one of the Making Light people? --had started a project of fisking the whole damn thing. dunno how far they got, but what they had was, well, probably a helluva lot more entertaining than the actual books.

goddam but Tim LaHaye is a creepazoid.

alphabitch said...

Don't mind at all. In addition to ADD, I was diagnosed at around the same time with narcolepsy. According to my docs, the two frequently coexist, exacerbate each other, or are mistaken for each other. Or something. There's research going on. Anyway, I take Adderall, and it helps with both things. I can now drive without falling asleep, and it allows me to remain employed. I have to tweak the dosages from time to time, but all in all I'd say it's worth it. I sometimes get a dry mouth, and I have very little appetite, so I have to remind myself to eat and drink water regularly, but other than that I don't have any serious side effects. I like the extended-release pills better than the regular ones. I'd, you know, forget to take them on schedule because they'd wear off & I'd flake out.

I was planning to write a lot more about the Left Behind books, but Fred over at Slacktivist is doing a much better job than I ever could. here's the link to the whole series.

belledame222 said...

oh, you're right, thanks. that's who I meant. not Making Light.

can i just say btw, speaking of LB, that i am morbidly obsessed with the weirdness that is Kirk Cameron?

http://www.wayofthemaster.com/