Literary Lunacy?

Filed under: @ 7:19 am

Maybe it’s just me, because I grew up in a family that values the printed word. Maybe it’s the people that I hang out with (a la Jaunthie’s recent musings on perpetual motion and overachievers).
But is it weird that I read whenever I can spare a few minutes and that I have books stashed around the house that I’m in the middle of?

Honestly, the majority of the people that I work with think I’m completely nuts. Now granted that if you discount the DVMs, very few of the people that I work with have more than a high school education, but still….

I am currently reading:
The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald
Farmer Giles of Ham by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Dave Barry Turns 50 by Dave Barry
The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs
And I’ve got Dragonfly In Amber by Diana Gabaldon on my i-Pod to which I listen when I’m walking or gardening.
And that doesn’t count the compilation of classic Peanuts comic strips that I dip into occasionally, nor Dreams of My Father by Barack Obama and Little House in The Ozarks by Laura Ingalls Wilder, both of which I started to read about 18 months ago and haven’t finished yet.

One of my assistants was completely gobsmacked when I brought up that tally. l seriously don’t understand what’s weird about it. What else do you do in that time between going to bed and falling asleep? What else do you do on an airplane? When you’re lying around sick?

Nah. It’s not me that’s weird.

What are you reading?

7 Responses to “Literary Lunacy?”

  1. YakBoy Says:

    I’m slacking off a bit right now. I’m only reading Homeland by R.A. Salvatore (its throwaway hack and slash fantasy, but diverting and Salvatore is the author GoH at Norwescon this year)and Unnatural Murder by Anne Somerset as far as actual, factual books go. However this has raised an interesting question in my mind.

    In addition to the above named books I’ve been reading the collections of Brian Michael Bendis’ run on Daredevil, Grant Morrison’s New X-Men and I’ve been pecking away at re-reading The Invisibles as well. The question is, do these count as “books”?

    I consider myself firmly in the “comics are literature” camp and yet it didn’t really occur to me right away to count those when I started thinking about “books” I was reading. Is this just a sort of psychological blind-spot or are they really two separate categories?

  2. Mike Says:

    “What else do you do in that time between going to bed and falling asleep?”
    ~~I can think of something that might pre-occupy a married couple! :mrgreen:

    Maybe you just need to pick up a book with a bit more heft to it. Try D.F. Wallace’s Infinite Jest It’s a huge tome, even in paperback at 1079 pages, but I’m loving it

    Unfortunately DFW took his life a few months ago by hanging himself. He probably would have carried the mantle of Updike’s successor had this tradgedy not occurred.

    Here he is on Charley Rose’s show

  3. Dalek Says:

    Sounds perfectly normal to me. Then again, I’m currently reading:

    –The Queen in Winter (anthology)
    –Passage (Sharon Shinn)
    –Don’t Try This At Home (Mythbusters (yes, it’s a book))
    –In Search of Schrodinger’s Cat (John Gribbin)
    –Reading Dance (anthology)
    –The Apostate’s Tale (Margaret Frazer)
    –Impressionist Gardens (Judith Bumpus)

    …plus the Territorial Seeds catalog, which is darn near large enough to count as a book. And I’m not even going to go into my to-be-read stack. So I’m probably not an unbiased respondent.

  4. Margaret Says:

    I consider myself firmly in the “comics are literature” camp and yet it didn’t really occur to me right away to count those when I started thinking about “books” I was reading. Is this just a sort of psychological blind-spot or are they really two separate categories?

    Well considering that I’ve got the entire run of “Bone” which is quite a bit of a read, and that I will obsessively read any of the Fables graphic novels that I can come across….
    Yeah, I’d consider comics as literature. Certainly not if we’re talking something like Archie or Casper the Friendly Ghost, but how else would you classify Maus? Or V for Vendetta for heaven’s sake? I’d consider those to have far more literary merit than whichever pile of dreck by R.A. Salvatore (sorry, but whichever title it was that I read, it _was_ dreck) that I read. To say nothing of most of what Piers Anthony has spewed out of his printer over the last 25 years or so.

    –Don’t Try This At Home (Mythbusters (yes, it’s a book))

    Cool! Can I borrow it when you’re done? You’re right too. The TS catalogue counts as a book. Certainly I tend to read it with the obsessive attention to detail that one does with a new book.

  5. SheriHi Says:

    I just finished War with the Newts, The Gardner’s Year, and the play R.U.R (where we get the word “robot”) by Karl Capek. I highly recommend anything written by Karl Capek.

    On a related note, I just ran across this post-Obama rap post on The Daily Dish. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgcZNpmOKuk&feature=related

  6. Val Says:

    Completely normal. It has to be, considering this is what I currently have laying around with bookmarks shoved in it:

    Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (been stalled out for a long, long while)
    The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (stalled here too)
    The Fellowship of the Ring by Tolkein (for the umpty-umpth time)
    The Nasty Bits by Anthony Bourdain
    Garden of Beasts by Jeffery Deaver (slightly stalled)
    Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire
    The Sharing Knife: Beguilement by Lois McMaster Bujold (again, and electronically via my PDA)
    Nerilka’s Story by Anne McCaffrey (again, and also as an ebook)
    Outward Bound by James P. Hogan (ebook too)

    Soon to be read: The Hallowed Hunt by Lois McMaster Bujold which released last year when I was really really busy so I forgot all about it until I got the latest in her Sharing Knife series and realized I. Missed. One. In . The. Chalion. Series. Ack! According to the Amazon reseller, this volume should be arriving in time for the weekend. Whew!

    So, yes. COMPLETELY normal. (as weirdos such as us can be considered “normal”) heh.

  7. Trish Says:

    I tend to be an obsessive reader who would rather gobble up a book than take small bites, but I still manage to have a few going at one time:

    * Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett
    * Love Among the Chickens by P.G. Wodehouse (audiobook that Joe and I listen to together)
    * The Phoenix and the Carpet by Edith Nesbit (audiobook)
    * Librivox Short Sci-fi Stroy Collection, vol. 5 (audiobook)

    I can’t read on the bus any more because reading under florescent lights triggers my migraines, so I’ve been enjoying a lot of free audiobooks instead.

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