07 June 2014
Is it wrong to read everything you like all at once?
The other day my friend Ron and I were in Barnes and Noble killing a bit of time. Since I loved Americanah so much, I looked to see what other Adichie titles they had (only one Purple Hibiscus), and then I noticed the new novels by Michael Cunningham and Joshua Ferris. I had all of these in my hand and was ready to go to the cashier when I realized that I should be buying them at my local independent instead. This may not seem like such a revelation to most of you, but I buy so few new books I often forget the fact that Politics and Prose, probably the best indie bookstore in the DC area, is in my neighborhood. And it just so happened that we had plans for that night to go out to dinner just a few doors down from the store. So while we waited for our table at Comet Pizza I made a beeline for Adichie, the new Cunnigham and Ferris novels, and for good measure, I looked to see if they had any Eric Ambler on their shelves.
It isn't often that every single book I buy in one trip is a book I can't wait to sink my teeth into. Usually I pick up a few thing that I feel I might get to at some distant point in time. My dilemma is: is it wrong to just go ahead and plow throw these seven books? Have a bit of an orgy of enjoyable reading. I've already started the Ferris and am having a great time with it? Should I ration these or should I make up time that I lost earlier in the year to less than enjoyable books that I forced myself to read and others I gave up on? If I toss in the three D.E. Stevensons I bought a month or so back I could really go on a fun book binge.
Hmm. It is summer after all. Why not? It is possible I will want to throw something else into the mix along the way. I have about two stories yet to finish in a Doris Lessing collection, and I still have 3/4ths of the 800-page Forsyte Saga to go. And it would be nice to read and review a novel or two that are still in hardcover. I know a few of you couldn't believe that I got to Americanah so soon after publication.
What would you do?