And sometimes you don’t. Here’s my point: folks would come into the store and say “I have shelves of books I haven’t read, but none of them appeal to me so I came for something new.” This makes perfect sense to me because of the whole food/ craving conundrum. Every person who has ever wondered what to cook for dinner, or where to eat, has been caught up in the web of ”I don’t feel like Chinese (or Mexican or pasta or….) tonight” I don’t see the difference between that and your reading appetite. Sometimes you feel like reading non-fiction, sometimes you feel like reading fiction, sometimes you feel like reading something trashy, sometimes a classic.
And of course sometimes you don’t know what you feel like until you have sampled the dish. I dip my spoon in many books until I find the one that fits my mood just right. I can read 30 pages and decide I am just not in the mood right now for Murakami, or I better read some non-fiction because the whole world is beginning to look like Lev Grossman got a hold of the script. It doesn’t mean the book is bad or that I will not finish it ( well, unless it is bad, then I know I won’t finish it). Most of the time I am just not in the mood and then, someday, I will be in the mood.
So, in the three bears house which is my bedside book shelf, there now sits 1Q84, 11/22/63 (hey, maybe it just all these letter /number titles that are off-putting), The Beauty and the Sorrow and Rin Tin Tin. All are in various states of having been read. None of them screaming at me to pick them up and continue. So yesterday I went out and got The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach. Here is a book on every “best” list I have read, but which I could not read until now. Like the swallows returning to Capistrano it makes perfect sense and reassures me that all is as it should be in the reading universe. Because…..I am a total baseball fan. Come the end of the World Series, I normally go into a funk because there is no baseball. I save all baseball reading until off-season just to get my self through until pitchers and catchers show up at camp. This being the totally messed up fall that it has been, I did not go into my traditional no baseball funk. No, it was the non-satisfying smorgasboard of reading, with the tasty dish of baseball fiction tempting me from the salad bar, that proves I am a child of the universe and will find my niche somewhere among the stars.
Keep on reading, putting down and picking up, until you find that just right for the moment perfect read. Because, as the old Almond Joy ad put so well, “Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t.”