I've been meaning to undergo a Personal Library Renaissance. I was going to come here and write about it. I got a bunch of great books for Christmas, and there's a list of books that Mike brought into this marriage that I'd like to read. There's plenty there, and a lot of it that I'm really excited about.
But here's the thing: I've been under a lot of stress at work. Like, the kind of stress that leaves me emotionally vulnerable. And when I'm at my desk, at my computer, and anxious, what brings me a momentary surge of happiness and temporary relief? What soothes me the way a cigarette soothes my sister? A hit of the BPL website. At http://catalog.mbln.org, I can log in and see what I have on reserve. And if there's nothing, if I'm not waiting for a book to arrive (on reserve! in transit!), there's nothing there for me.
So I've been ordering books and reading them as fast as I can. It's kept me going. The Wife, by Meg Wolitzer (such a great book; I'm just kind of let down by the last ten pages); The Double Bind, by Chris Bohjalian (love that guy; hope this one's as good); Through the Children's Gate by Adam Gopnick (I cannot tell you how guilty I feel that I really, really didn't like Lynne's favorite writer, but I just can't get behind a book that's all about how great and special New York is); Infidel, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali (really interesting; I'm amazed at how much nonfiction about the Middle East I can read).
So there's been no renaissance. I have been reading some borrowed books, though--from friends I mean. I will give you only one tiny taste, and let you judge for yourself: "The psychologist probably scratched his head."
Did he really? You be the judge.
I won't apologize. I hope, though, that soon I'll be emotionally strong enough to read some books I own, rather than be so dependent on the BPL. I'm hooked, and I won't apologize. I've always been up front about it: I'm a cheap date.