Monday, August 18, 2008

List. . .too. . .long. . .Must. . .pare. . .down

It's the old, "so many books, so little time" dilemma. Seriously, do any of you ever get completely overwhelmed by the sheer number of books you want to read when you factor in the lack of time you have in which to read them? I don't know if it's Protestant guilt over setting the mental task for myself of reading certain books and then not following through (sometimes for years, if ever), or just the fact that I want to read and be a good parent and keep up with writing a blog or three and do music and homeschool my kids, etc., etc., etc. And do a good job with all of these things. All the time. But I feel like my book lists need to be shorter, or my head is going to explode.

Reading other people's blogs, while enormously entertaining and often thought-provoking, is a two-edged sword for me. Many, if not most, of the blogs I read are written by intelligent women who read. A lot. So there are usually suggestions for books that sound pretty darn fantastic. As a random example, I just found this book (cover shot with link above) mentioned at the blog, In Need of Chocolate, went to Amazon to read its review, and now have another book on the list of books I want to read. Soon. Yesterday it was a book mentioned at Farm School (the source of many of my interlibrary loan request titles).

The other edge of the sword is that, while I love the blog-o-sphere (one might even say I've discovered my second addiction--the first being books), I've found it has really eaten into my reading time. Reading of books, that is. Normally by this time o' night I've powered down and am snuggled under the covers, reading whatever book appeals from my shelf of books "to read." Yet in the past several days I've found myself either blogging or reading blogs well into the night. I fall asleep five minutes into reading my chosen literature of the night, no matter how engrossing the story.

I know, I know. Prioritize. Practice patience. The books will still be there, or, if I have to return them to the library before getting to them, I can always request them again. Or buy them at Daedalus Books if I wait long enough and am vigilant enough to catch them when they appear.

Here are a few words from Zora Bernice May Cross (1890-1964), Australian poet and kindred spirit:

Oh! Bury me in books when I am dead,
Fair quarto leaves of ivory and gold,
And silk octavos, bound in brown and red,
That tales of love and chivalry unfold.
Heap me in volumes of fine vellum wrought,
Creamed with the close content of silent speech;
Wrap me in sapphire tapestries of thought
From some old epic out of common reach.
I would my shroud were verse-embroidered, too--
Your verse for preference--in starry stitch,
And powdered o'er with rhymes that poets woo,
Breathing dream-lyrics in moon-measures rich.
Night holds me with a horrow of the grave
That knows not poetry, nor song, nor you;
Nor leaves of love that down the ages weave
Romance and fire in burnished cloths of blue.
Oh, bury me in books, and I'll not mind
The cold, slow worms that coil around my head;
Since my lone soul may turn the page and find
The lines you wrote to me, when I am dead.

No comments: