Boy, sometimes Monday hits you hard! I’m feeling rather shell-shocked right now. This is the busiest part of the semester for me, with tons of paper drafts I need to read and comment on and classes to prepare for and meetings to attend and little annoying tasks that come out of nowhere and take forever to accomplish. Plus I want to ride and blog and read, and do all the usual stuff. And I really hate being busy. I don’t thrive on being busy, as some people (amazingly) do.
Anyway, that explanation accounts for my rambling thoughts this evening. So, I’ve begun listening to P.D. James’s The Murder Room, and, oh, what fun it is! Perhaps I should make a habit of listening to mysteries in the car … for some reason mysteries go well with being all on my own in the small space of a car. So far, and I’m not very far into the book, James’s writing is wonderful — smart, literate, entertaining. And there’s something about hearing an actual voice narrating the story that works so well; the reader’s voice is quiet and intimate and also a bit somber, as befits a murder mystery novel. I understand the main character, Adam Dalgliesh, is also in some other of her works, so perhaps I’ll have to seek those out.
I need more light, fun books to read. I’m feeling rather bogged down with Nightwood and The Recess, although I’m almost through with Nightwood, which will free up some time for other things. But, as often happens, the things on my shelves seem too serious. I’m so ambitious when I buy or mooch books, and I forget to think about the times when I’ll need something lighter. Shall I use this as an excuse to go to the bookstore? Or perhaps I can raid Hobgoblin’s shelves for some more mysteries; he’s got lots of Dorothy Sayers’s books and Ellis Peters and at least one Amanda Cross mystery. Perhaps I should throw aside all other reading plans for a while and reading nothing but mysteries until I feel better?
I wish I had another Georgette Heyer novel on hand; that would do quite well too …
My problem is that in the moment when I pick up some difficult book, I’m feeling optimistic and energetic and ambitious. But that feeling rarely lasts during these busy times of the year, and then I feel stuck in the middle of something I don’t have the energy for. If I do this a couple of times, then I’m stuck in the middle of a bunch of things I don’t have energy for. And as I don’t like to set books aside for too long, I generally keep going with what I’m in the middle of. I should just face up to the fact, perhaps, that the slower times of the year are better for ambitious reading, and the busier parts are not, and that’s okay. I don’t have to be reading difficult things all year round after all.