Ann Parker here, every other Saturday at the LadyKillers. I'll admit that when I read what the theme was for the week, my stress level rose. It sounded like a command—
Reading: RIGHT NOW!
And yes, yes, I should be reading... RIGHT NOW!
What should I be reading? Oh dear, there are so many choices. I ran around the house, taking quick pictures of things that need reading.
First up, is the pile of stuff on the "sorting table" (artfully arranged for the photo).
And what have we here? Let's see... there's election material (of course). Several newspapers, including the Herald Democrat from Leadville (I'm way behind on newspapers), and the Colorado Central magazine from Salida area. There are several catalogs, including the Met's holiday catalog and the See's Candies catalog (gotta get my holiday goodies mailed out soon to folks who are far away).
The "Something Extra" circular from the local grocery store often has great recipes, so I need to peruse that before tossing. On top, you see some little tearaway pages from a calendar. This calendar is at least three years old, and each day features a nifty quote from a famous woman (sample: "My goal is to be accused of being strident." Susan Faludi). I can't throw it away without going through and picking out and saving the good quotes first!
And why is NetFlicks in the pile? Because, when my husband and I watch NetFlix, we turn on the closed caption feature and read the dialogue. That way my eardrums don't bleed from the volume level. (He likes it loud, and I... don't. We'll leave it at that.)
Next, we move to my work station. This includes reading material to keep up in my various fields of employ as well as fiction. Mystery Scene magazine, there's Science Writers again (which has migrated from the "stuff" pile to my work area), as well as Roundup magazine, which is published by Western Writers of America. Work-for-hire projects—such as ghost-writing a commentary piece on "Big Data" (or data science, if you prefer) and writing a white paper on a particular software package for mid-sized legal firms—include brushing up on what's been said about such topics here and there.
Other things lurk in the pile: a letter from a fan that needs re-reading and a response, information on health plan updates for the "open enrollment" period (which is NOW, which means I'd better read and decide what to do NOW), and some draft chapers from critique partners that I should noodle through and critique.
Since this photo was taken, I've added several other bits and pieces to the to-be-read work pile, including the latest copy of the 1663 magazine from Los Alamos (gotta keep up with what the competition... excuse me, sister labs ... are up to these days).
Now, we finally get to "pleasure reading," reading material that floats from purse to nightstand to car to comfy chair to dinner table and so on. Fever Dream, by fellow Poisoned Pen Press author Dennis Palumbo, is planted atop the latest Mystery Readers Journal issue (but wait... shouldn't that maybe be in the work pile along with Mystery Scene magazine?).
There's Crimes by Moonlight, an MWA anthology edited by Charlaine Harris, The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, Innocent by Scott Turow (a book club read for December), and two books on plotting (hmmm, maybe that should be in the work pile, because they are for a workshop Camille Minichino and I are doing on November 14 for NaNoWriMo).
Next, Jack Wakes Up by Seth Harwood (who I met on the plane coming back from Bouchercon... a really nice guy and we talked about the Mac netbook, so I pulled his book out of my TBR pile and now it's in the "current read" pile. See, authors? Be nice to your seat mates on flights, because you might find a fan!).
The yellow book is Penny Warner's How to Dine on Killer Wine (fun!). The Good Girls Revolt by Lynn Povich, is a 7-day book from the library, and there is no chance, none whatsoever that I will finish it in the next two days, so back it goes. Finally, The Writer's Block—again, for the upcoming workshop—tops the pile.
This all, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg. Books and other reading materials are piled on my dresser, the tables, the bookshelves (two rows deep), the chairs. All cry: READ ME! RIGHT NOW!
I love to read. It's been a primary force in my life from the time I first sounded out "morning" in the first grade and the lightbulb went on. But somewhere, at some point, I think things got out of control. Even if I were to stop everything in my life and just read, I don't think I'd get through all the things that are currently unread in the house... and that's without considering all the material that pours in, just adding to the piles.
Such as this great new book that I just bought about the circus and Victorian society.
Oooooooh, I am in soooooo much trouble.