Monday, March 28, 2011

Maker of Plans

Because I apparently can't resist making grand and elaborate plans and resolutions, let me share my new goal with you.  I'm in the midst of a successful downscaling of my library list.  I'm working my way through things, and I've successfully gone to return several books without checking out anything more.  So my new Grand Scheme is to start incorporating books that I've borrowed from friends into my reading cycle as the library books phase out.

In the spirit of this new resolution, I've started reading Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, by Chip and Dan Heath.  It's kind of a pop psychology/business book, about just what the title claims, and it's very straightforward and interesting.  One of the things that's kind of intriguing is that a lot of the research and theoretical underpinnings put forth in the book come from other pop psychology books I've read--The Paradox of Choice, Mindless Eating, Stumbling on Happiness.  It's very satisfying to see all these sets of theories translated into a very results-driven sphere of thought.

I'm hoping to finish this by Saturday so I can return it to Elizabeth.  This is especially helpful because I'm planning to snag Little Bee from her at the same time; I started reading the library's copy of that, but I cut it too close to the due date and can't wait to come back around on a waitlist of 80.  If Elizabeth is going to bail me out of that one, the least I can do is get Switch back to her.

I'm also scrambling to wrap up Twin Study, a book of short stories by Stacey Richter that I borrowed from Katie lo these many moons ago.  I'm actually enjoying it a lot more than I usually enjoy stories, although they really are such small capsules of storytelling that I feel like I shouldn't be satisfied, even when I am.  It's like eating sushi--those six bites don't look like enough, but if you slow down and savor them, it's surprising how full you find yourself at the end.

I also owe some attention to Kris's pile, which has a whole dedicated spot of its own on my shelf.  I think I'll start with the Rex Stout that's waiting--which one was it?  The Mother Hunt, I think.  Anyway, The Golden Spiders was great, solidly satisfying and exactly what it ought to be--classic mysteries.  After that, I'll move on to Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood, which I'm really looking forward to but a little intimidated by.

Of course, this is all after I finish everything I'm reading now.  Which is a long, long, long list.  Which I'll go into another time.  The goal here is to outline the Grand Plan so that I'm held accountable if and when it falls apart, and/or I'm unable to resist more library books.

I must be strong!  I must stand firm!  Even though Switch tells me that the human capacity for self control is finite, and so the path to success involves strategically arranging circumstances to minimize the need for self-control on a day to day basis.  Yes, in spite of this, I must persevere.  Wish me luck.

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