I get cranky when I don’t read for relaxation. Angry, cranky and just a miserable person to be around. Unfortunately, the past month has been so crazy busy that I have not read a single book. Yes – this does mean that I am currently a self-absorbed, agitated mess of a person that is humourless. I am not laughing at jokes, sarcasm passes me by and I am snapping at my sons’ banter. As a self-confessed reading addict, I am going through withdrawals. The cold-sweats, I’m curled up in a foetal position, my reddened eyes and gnawed fingernails and chipped polish. I stare longingly at the piles of books that tempt me but I lash out angrily, constantly pushing the temptation far away from me as I reach for another theory laden assignment to mark. It is, indeed a dark place I am currently inhabiting.
Now don’t get me wrong here. I have not gone without reading for a month. It is pleasure reading which has fallen by the wayside. The whole month of June has been taken over with marking student works (both undergrad and postgrad) primarily in Information Behaviour Theory. Now I do love me some sense-making discourse, and throw in practice theory too but they suck when I am trying to wind down and relax. I am also completing 2 conference papers for June and July and on top of that, I received notification from JPRS that a paper I submitted a while ago has been accepted for publication “as is” (wooot! *blows into kazoo*) but I need to do some small edits before the end of this week.
Did I tell you I was too busy to read? Actually, I am also too busy to cook and clean (that is not as bad as missing out on reading).
So what am I reading and what is on my TBR?
I read the four chapters of Miranda Neville’s The Dark Duke of Desire at the beginning of June but I haven’t even had a chance to open my copy since then. However, I carry it around with me everywhere. I sleep with it under my pillow as if by osmosis the words will permeate my mind while I slumber and the story will enter my subconscious. It hasn’t happened yet. Matrix-like, Inception-like, I would love a future which allowed stories to be embedded into my mind while I slept as a salve to time poor wakefulness.
Also on my list is Gena Showalter’s The Queen of Zombie Hearts. I’m not big on Zombie fiction but I liked the cover on this book and I tend to judge books by their covers. And I think I have Julia Quinn’s latest book buried somewhere under the bed covers. The osmosis idea is so weak on that one that I can’t even remember the title.
Kat Mayo did introduce me to a podcast called Get Mortified. I am really enjoying it though I have so far only listened to 4 episodes (they are only about 15 minutes each). They are adults reading aloud their angsty, embarrassing teen diary entries. It is much more like Judy Blume’s Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret than Anne Frank or Go Ask Alice. This is not sombre listening. It is screamingly funny and (as the title indicates) mortifying.
Meanwhile, what I am reading (not for pleasure but for study cave PhD purposes): I have Tony Moore’s Dancing With Empty Pockets beside me. It is on Australia’s Bohemias. I heard him speak at a Bourdieusian colloquium (this is where I feel my shallowreading moniker mocking me from above) and I think his ideas around cultural and economic capital mirror some of my own ideas. I also have Elizabeth Long’s Book Clubs: Women and the Uses of Reading in Everyday Life and Kathleen Rooney’s Reading with Oprah on the go. I also just received Anne Jamieson’s Fic: Why fanfiction is taking over the world from my uni library and David Trend’s Worlding is waiting for me too.
I guess the good thing about being so busy is that I don’t even have time to read blurbs or tweets (always a source of book recommendations) so my fiction TBR is not ever growing. It too has stagnated. Though a TBR with over 200 books is hardly stagnant. I have also managed to not read any of the kerfuffles that occur in both the bookternet and romancelandia. I know there have been a handful of articles people have talked about (The Mary Sue, Hugos, Grey) but they will have to wait to be read. I’ll allow them to age, like a good wine, and I will come back and let you know if it was a storm in a teacup or truly something that will have reverberations upon our future online circles of reading. I think I have the articles bookmarked but any links to articles you think I may find interesting are appreciated.
After next Tuesday, I will give myself five days of relaxing where I can stop being cranky and start seeing the funny side of things again. Five whole days of reading fiction and blogs and twitter and travel. I definitely see a massage in my near future, perhaps a mudbath and definitely some good old fashioned chilling.