I have always had a bad habit of reading 5 (or so) books at once. Reading concurrently does not in itself necessarily prevent me from finishing a book. Still, throughout my life, it has not been unusual for me to start a book, get bored or distracted and set it aside for...ever. However, since Becca came along, I've noticed a worsening trend. Here's the pile on my nightstand:
That's 14 books. 14 good ones, in fact. 14 books that I am going to read. 14 books that provide a pretty good cross-section of my literary interests. They are, from bottom up:
- Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss (the most entertaining book ever written about punctuation);
- Capital Crimes by Johnathan and Faye Kellerman (love me some trashy mystery novels!);
- The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A. J. Jacobs (in which Jacobs attempts to follow ALL of the laws in the Old Testament over the course of a year);
- The Obama Victory: How Media, Money and Message Shaped the 2008 Election by Kate Kenski, Bruce W. Hardy and Kathleen Hall Jamieson (so proud to call preemie mom and author Kate Kenski a friend...and a friend who writes well on relevant topics, to boot!);
- The Out of Sync Child: Recognizing and Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder by Carol Stock Kranowitz;
- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott (one of my all-time favorite authors!);
- God Does Not...Entertain, Play Match-maker, Hurry, Demand Blood, Cure Every Illness, edited by D. Brent Laytham (a series of essays refuting the, to steal a phrase from my husband, "vending machine" theology of God and prayer (you put your prayers in and get your candy out));
- Men Are from Mars; Women Are from Venus: The Classic Guide to Understanding the Opposite Sex by John Gray (seriously, I've been in ministry for 6 years and married for 5, and I haven't read this book?);
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by, of course, J. K. Rowling (I use Harry Potter books the way many people use mashed potatoes...familiar comfort.);
- Agatha Christie: Five Complete Novels (not-so-trashy mystery novels);
- The Complete Idiot's Guide to Creative Writing by Laurie E. Rozakis (trying to refine my craft a bit);
- Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud and John Townsend (and I can tell you exactly why I still haven't finished this book: it describes my life and issues so accurately that it's downright painful to read...but it is SO helpful as well);
- The Moms' Book for the Mom Who's Best at Everything by Alison Maloney ('cause it's totally about me, duh); and
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (fabulous and thought-provoking fiction).
Since this picture was taken, I've finished The Hunger Games and added The Best American Mystery Stories of the Century (edited by Tony Hillerman), Acedia & me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life (by Kathleen Norris, another favorite) and Poppy's Secret Wish by Ann Bryant (one of my Usborne books that I'm previewing for kids whose reading level is advanced beyond their maturity (cough, cough...Riley Speas...cough, cough).
That's a tall pile. 16 books tall, actually. And it's no coincidence that the book I did finish is considered young adult fiction (about the same reading level as Harry Potter) and that one of the books I added is a volume of short stories. I really, really do want to read all the books in the pile. I really, really will (eventually) read all the books in this pile. But not any time soon, it seems.
I am actually still reading regularly...in the few minutes I get to sit down each day...in the bathroom...when Becca isn't visiting me...and then it's almost always magazines, usuallyNewsweek or (sometimes) Parenting.
Am I alone here? Parents of young kids, are you reading? How do you make the time? And what are you reading? What's the verdict, then? Is this just a magazine phase of life?