What I'm Not Currently Reading: A Musing From The Cemetery of Forgotten Tomes

on Wednesday, September 2, 2015
I log into Goodreads.

Three books ahead in the Reading Challenge? Check! Friends making friends with people far cooler than me? Check! Friends reading books that make me think less of them? Check!

My eyes drift to the right of the screen. I am overcome by dread. There... There...

A Blink of The Screen: Collected Short Fiction by Terry Pratchett.
Date Added: January 5 2013

Fever and Spear: Your Face Tomorrow Vol. 1 by Javier Marias
Date Added: June 25 2013

Welcome, my friends, to the cemetery of forgotten tomes. Here lie the remains of books I'd hoped to love, books I started with the intention of adding to my bloated tally, books I refuse to admit I've given up on. It is the dark corner of my obsessive affliction, that desperate need to finish every book I start no matter how much I despise it. Don't be fooled by its shiny gate, those neon words flashing in the night sky. It is an illusion. A delusion. "Currently Reading"? I don't think so. This place is a barren wasteland.

The Wake by Paul Kingsnorth.
Date Added: July 29 2014

Oh, yeah, I remember that one. What a stroke of creative genius. I'm serious. Phonetically scripted middle English recounting the Norman invasion of 1066. Holy shit it took me ages to get the hang of reading it. I was invested. I spent a good while patting myself on the back once I could get through a page in under ten minutes. I'm surprised I didn't end up with tennis elbow. And then... Is Terry Pratchett still alive? In this universe he is. Thank you Goodreads - you have caused a ripple in the space/time continuum. Uncle Terry, hiding in a box, waiting for me to lift its lid.

Limonov by Emmanuel Carrere.
Date Added: November 9 2014

Don't suppose you read Class Trip? Probably the creepiest novella of all time. Made me want to read anything Carrere ever wrote. And God knows I've done my best but, I'm sad to say, nothing has come even remotely close. For the most part he has tended towards reportage. I don't like reportage. Still, Limonov looked promising. There was a bit of buzz. I jumped in, full of hope. Three chapters in... I'll get back to it sometime. Or not. Maybe I should try the Marias again. I also swore to myself that I'd read everything of his after I fell in love with The Infatuations (my book of the year back in 2013). But shouldn't I just knock off poor Terry first? Pardon the pun.

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
Date Added: November 22 2014

Apparently I started (and finished) six books between the time I opened the Carrere and the Ferrante. What the hell is wrong with me? So far as I recall, I really enjoyed the first half of My Brilliant Friend. I'll definitely have to go back. Ok, so one out of five I am, quite genuinely, Currently Reading. It's just taking me a while.

The Librarian by Mikhail Elizarov.
Date Added: May 19 2015

A fitting title. You probably recall my love of Umberto Eco's concept of the Anti-Library: the books on your shelf that you have not read. Eco says it's just as important as your proper library. It says just as much about you. Here on the screen, in that little corner of my Goodreads page, is a glimpse of my Anti-Library. Ironically, at home, my real world Anti-Library consists of at least five books by Umberto Eco. But I digress.

Maybe it's time I culled. Of the six books I'm Currently Reading, I can confidently say that I ain't touching two of them again. If only I could bring myself to click that little "x" and have them disappear from my life forever.

Out damn spot...

But I can't.

I will go to my grave with these Marks of Cain continuing on in the electronic ether.


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