Sunday Salon: Drinking Through A Firehose

sunsalon1Within the space of a week, I managed to go from having a reading plan to being completely overwhelmed. I’m not entirely sure how it happened. I was reading Falling Leaves for the World Citizen Challenge, and I planned next to read something from the Orbis Terrarum list, one that might also fulfill the 1% Well-Read Challenge. I also decided to join the Gone with The Wind read-along. This seemed entirely manageable, except that my library had no copy of Gone with The Wind, so I placed a hold on it at the library last Sunday. 

The first part of the week was calm. After I finished Falling Leaves on Wednesday, I checked the availability of books on my Orbis Terrarum list at the library, and decided I would begin with One Hundred Years of Solitude. No problem! On Thursday, I went to the library to pick up that book, but then I also noticed that they had a copy of Wide Sargasso Sea. I picked that up, too. When I got to the desk, they told me they had two of my hold books: Gone with The Wind and Swimming with Strangers, a story collection for Andrew’s Book Club that I had been waiting for since January. I decided to forgo Swimming with Strangers, because I realize I cannot keep up with Andrew’s Book Club by using the library (which wasn’t the original point of the challenge: it was to buy the books, but the unemployed have to be crafty). They simply aren’t picking up copies of the new and indie collections (or aren’t picking them up quickly enough). That decision made me feel more in control, like I was on the right track. I would just have to add the collections to my TBR list and purchase them at a later date.

I walked away from the library on Thursday with One Hundred Years of Solitude, Wide Sargasso Sea, and Gone with The Wind, but when I got home, I realized I had a bit of a dilemma on my hands. First, I picked up One Hundred Years of Solitude, thinking I would read that first. But then I realized that the Gone with The Wind read-along was only during March, and neither of the books really lend themselves to a “switch off” situation. But also, Wide Sargasso Sea is so short, I thought it might be easiest to knock that one out first, then read Gone with The Wind, and then read One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Except that I started reading Gone with The Wind first, and I really got into it, which was fine–until yesterday.

I may have forgotten to mention that on Thursday, while I was poking around the library site and trying to see what book to check out for Orbis Terrarum, I put yet another book on hold: The Manual of Detection, by Jedediah Berry. Remembering how long I’d been waiting for Swimming with Strangers, I thought it would be at least a couple of weeks before I got notice for it. Nope. Got the notice yesterday morning. I had to pick it up, because who knows how long I would have to wait again, right? The problem: The Manual of Detection can only be checked out for two weeks, and cannot be renewed. 

Probably I should also mention that I received two books in the mail this week: on Monday, Gardens of Water, which I won from Lisa’s giveaway over at Books on The Brain, and yesterday, The Book Thief, from my Mother. Oh, and also, I snagged a copy of The Easter Parade from Library Thing Early Reviewers

And then, of course, there’s the pile of books over there. *Gestures toward bookshelf* My plan was to cycle through one book at a time for each challenge, with my own books as fillers in between. 

Whew. Okay. So. The new plan: Read The Manual of Detection, then pick up where I left off with Gone with The Wind, then read Wide Sargasso Sea, then read One Hundred Years of Solitude, then Gardens of Water, then something for 9 for ’09…unless The Easter Parade arrives first, in which case I’ll read that first so I can review it for Library Thing.

Or unless that Mark Bittman book I put on hold yesterday at the library comes in and ruins everything.

Somebody help.

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11 comments

  1. You’re doing great! Your plan in solid. Just keep the Mark Bittman book on hold at the library until the last day you have to pick it up. That way it’s kind of out of sight, out of mind. I’m in the same situation right now with a ton of books. Maybe I’ll write my own version of “drinking through a firehouse”!

  2. Lol! I just picked up Gone with the Wind at the library, too, and haven’t even made a dent. I wanted to read it first to catch up with Matt, unfortunately I also have two books from the library that are due on Tuesday and are not renewable, so I’m trying to read through them now and then catch up with Gone with the Wind later. Your current plan is good. I’m hopeful we’ll both catch up. And I have also to think about my Orbis Terrarum book too. It’s supposed to be A House for Mr Biswas and I got it on bookmooch but hasn’t arrived yet. If it doesn’t arrive soon I’ll have to switch to another. I hope you do get to read through One Hundred Years this month, it’s just wonderful. Don’t despair.. you have hope yet!! Cheering you on!! 😀

  3. Good luck! I know about the overwhelmed feeling though. I’m currently reading Kristin Lavransdatter for Orbis Terrarum but it keeps being interrupted by review books or just plain things I can’t put aside and forget again forever. I even set out a monthly reading plan for myself and still find myself at seixes and sevens with what to do!

  4. You’ve got some rather hefty tomes there, as well as a lot of them! “Wide Sargasso Sea” and “Gone With the Wind” are both old favourites of mine. And I’ve been eagerly awaiting “The Manual of Detection.” And is the Mark Bittman title “Food Matters”? I just gave up waiting on a library copy of that one and snapped up a sale copy at my local bookstore. Needless to say, I’m keen to hear what you think of each of these when you get to them!

  5. Vasilly, that’s a great idea! I think I can leave it for seven days after the notification. If I pick it up, I’ll have to open it!

    Claire, I was actually cruising through GWTW! I think it will be easy to get back into it, or else I wouldn’t have paused. Still, I’ll have to run a bit to catch up! Maybe we can set an alternate timeline. LOL. At least I’m excited about everything I have lined up. 100 Years will be the cherry on the sundae, I am hoping!

    Kristen, I hear you! You should see the various lists I’ve made, mapping out all these challenge books. I know that no list I make will ever stick, but I never give up!

    Kate, not to give too much away, but The Manual of Detection is terrific so far! I’m close to halfway through, so hopefully I’ll get a post up this week. And yes, the Bittman book is Food Matters. I love his columns, and I’m eager to see how it compares to Pollan’s In Defense of Food.

  6. Ah, the eternal dilemma of too many books to read and not enough time to do so! This is actually why I tend to not reserve books at the library that often, because they always interrupt my reading plans! That being said, I did just pick up a few this Saturday after a trip to the gym (the library is pretty much just across the street), where I went with the intention of picking up the one book I had on hold, and then picked up two others just for kicks. Sometimes I don’t know what’s wrong with me! But obviously I can relate to your firehose situation.

    I feel so left out that I’m not reading Gone With The Wind…

  7. lol! Aaahh, having lots of books and wanting to read them all immediately. I know the feeling. On the bright side, it surely beats having no books to read 😛

    I read Wide Sargasso Sea some years ago and it was amazing. Ditto for One Hundred Years of Solitude.

  8. When will any of us have the time to read all the books we want to read in the very short time we seem to have?? Your dilemmas are so familar. I hope you enjoy all the books you have managed to get your hands on and more…

  9. Steph, sometimes I actually believe the library is far worse for me than the book store. I can always convince myself not to take an extra book because of the money, but what to do when they are FREE? They practically leap into my arms, I tell you! They leap!

    Nymeth, you are so right. I cannot even imagine the opposite problem. I cannot imagine a world without books. I should count myself lucky!

    Seachanges, I see my lists and my stacks, and the answer to the “when will we have time?” question seems to be “Never!” Won’t keep me from trying, and enjoying every second. May we all be so lucky! 🙂

  10. Priscilla, you’ve got a great plan. My problem with reading plans is I just pick up a book to glance at it, open to a page and I’m hooked! My public library is soo dangerous. I put books on hold and try to control when they come in but sometime I just screw up. I had to return 4 last week, I knew I would never get to them, and I never manage to get to read the books I own!

    Years ago, reading One Hundred Years of Solitude changed my view of literature completely. I hope you enjoy it.

  11. Gavin, that’s it! I am having the exact same problem! I told myself last week: “just read the books you already have, and then go to the library for the others.” But did I? Nope. Straight to the stacks.

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