Friday, March 28, 2008

I Wish I Could Quit You, or The Book That Got Away

I borrowed about 20 books or so from TD, pillaging his shelves and absconding with printed treasures. Yes, I talk this florid and purple prosey in real life--and only occasionally is it adorable, although I'd hope that it was adorable all of the time. Alas, it is but a false hope, thrown into the aether. (See?!) I must have borrowed 6-7 Murakamis, and a smattering sample of other contemporary authors (Henning Mankell, Carl Hiassen, Zola, Hemingway). Yes, it disturbs me deeply that a chem/econ major has read more than an English lit major. Dude, I went to law school, which kind of killed my fun reading for a few years, because I was stupid enough to think I didn't have enough free time to read for class and for fun and do all of my other stuff (being highly involved in student organizations, visiting my parents every weekend...yeah I should have screwed the institutional involvements). I'm trying to get back into fiction reading, and I have, although I'm just not blogging the reviews as fast as I read the books--and I'm not even reading that fast. I read a lot, but not all of it ever really gets finished efficiently, and I often have to drop novels for that damned interminable course reading/research.

I know that this is a stupid argument: if not for school, I'd be so much smarter! But really, I have too little time, with all of the articles I have to read whether or not they're related to my work. I'd wear a t-shirt that said "I'd Rather Be Reading," except that I am always reading, and making distinctions between "fun" reading and "work" reading make me want to cry. I try to dupe myself into thinking that reading for my work, since I chose this career and subject matter, is fun. Yay!

Anyway, I have about 5 books I'm currently reading, for fun and for profit. Well, one day I'll make money at reading, just you wait and see.

So, I'm currently reading, and will one day finish:

-Saturday, Ian McEwan
-Faceless Killers, Henning Mankell
-On the Rule of Law, Brian Tamanaha
-American Inquisition, Eric Muller
-Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro

I will not rest until these are read.

But this is not a post about books you are reading and just can't finish timely enough because life gets in the way.

No, this is a post about the book that got away. You know I always take the laconic, long route to my point. There's plenty of reasons for not finishing a book within the week, or the month that you thought you'd allot to it. But there's deeper seated reasons for just never finishing that one book. The book that disappointed you halfway through, or the book that seemed to have no point. Or the book that was just too difficult. You stopped reading the book, and put it aside, and yet years later, it still bothers you that you never finished that book.

With my paucity of free time and mental space, I do not waste time on books. If I don't like a book, I stop reading it. But when I stop reading a book because I got too busy, or if I just gave up on it without being sure that was the right decision--well, it bothers me.

For me, that book is Kazuo Ishiguro's The Unconsoled, which is the most Kafka-esque of the Ishiguro books (which I haven't read many of, to be honest--The Unconsoled did it in for me for Ishiguro for a while). I've always wanted to finish it, and read the first 2/3 twice. Twice!

It's at my parent's house. I'll be visiting them again this June. It lies there in wait for me, tauntingly, invitingly, suggestively. I think that I will try to read it again, for the third or fourth time in ten years.

It's the one that got away. What's that book for you?


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