04 May 2009

My reading list, and belated birthdays

Lately I feel this sense of guilt every time I buy a new book. First of all, there is the guilt that I've spent money to buy a beautiful full-priced new paperback (at least I won't let myself buy hardbacks) when I should be saving. I could, after all, go to the library or even to a used book store. (Oh, how I miss living down the street from the NYPL's used book store! It was one of the rare bright spots of the Tuesday-Wednesday weekends last year.) I also should not be buying more and more books when I haven't finished half of the books on my shelf. The History of Love still sits partially read, as does Revolutionary Road, as does The Camomile Lawn (and that one is going on years). I also keep thinking that should I have to move, the book-moving task will prove quite daunting. It was hard to move all of them when I came to DC, and now I have even more. The third, saddest argument against purchasing new books? I feel so guilty every time I read a book for pleasure, because I am overwhelmed and overstressed and I should be writing cover letters and doing pointless work for graduate school and writing reflection after reflection after reflection. But then I think about what my life is like without 10 minutes a day of pleasure reading, and I remember my senior year of college when I had to be rescued from papers and exams and stress stress stress by the beautiful language of The End of the Affair. It was one of those books where I wished that I could just transport myself into the language and set up camp (perhaps in Alice Temperley's teepee).
Right now I am reading the first in a three-book queue of books about books. For some reason I love postmodernism, when it isn't too snobby. The first book is quite good so far, on the more dark-humored side. I don't think it will make the list of favorites, purely because I don't find the language lushly beautiful and I can't really identify with the characters, but it is very well done and I highly recommend it.
Then next in the queue we have this...
which led me to this beauty, which I believe has a Rob Ryan papercut for a cover!
Finally, we have a book I've been meaning to read for a while...
although I like this cover better.
On a separate note, my beloved grandma's birthday would have been yesterday.  She would have been 94-years-old.  How I miss her.  My life isn't the same.  Books have always helped to ease the pain, and I turn to them now, even if I shouldn't.

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