I often read books “from alternative timelines,” according to my cousin the cataloguer. This whimsical category includes out-of-print books “nobody reads,” she says disapprovingly, by the likes of Pamela Hansford Johnson, Harriette Arnow, Edna Ferber, Catharine Maria Sedgwick, and Margaret Oliphant. Public libraries do not generate business with such books, so one looks for them at used bookstores or university libraries.
I will defend my reading of such books to the death, but I am out of the loop of modern culture. And so I resolved to read three new books this summer. They’re remarkably easy reads (I’ve read four), so I plan to keep going.
Mind you, my attitude toward new books is: don’t let them deflect you from your natural reading course. I can’t become one of those bloggers who devote themselves to schilling new books. And I don’t want to read the books everyone promotes, so I’m trying to choose carefully. Much to my surprise, one of them has turned out to be the flavor of the month. “If ever a book didn’t need my review…” I wryly thought after I saw Emily Nussbaum on CBS This Morning.
I planned July as an easy month. I decided this weekend to read a new Russian novel. There are, however, no page numbers in the e-book, and I bizarrely had read only a tiny percentage of the pages in an hour. And so I checked online: it is over 500 pages. That’s too much for a holiday weekend.
So much for schedules! And that’s why I seldom write anything on a calendar.