During winter quarter, my favorite part of the week has been round about Thursday when I realize I really must sit down and read an excellent YA book to review. Sure, I’ve got other things to do like read the last two week’s backlog of essays for class and watch a couple lectures. But this review has got to be done by Sunday, so like it or not, I’ve got to sit down with a cup of tea and reread The King of Attolia.
I could pull a good dozen titles from the suggested list that I’ve already read and write a decent review from memory, but I don’t feel like I’ve got a grasp on a book until at least the second read. Last time I read KOA, it was in a hungry, devouring fever of book lust. This time, I’m reading carefully and trying to imagine what it would be like for someone unfamiliar with the delights of The Thief and The Queen of Attolia. I still, though, want to put Eugenides in my pocket and take him home. Except he would probably escape and piss me off and draw me into some kind of intrigue, and pretend to be one thing when he’s really another. I’d be okay with that. More than okay.
Ahem. What was I talking about?
Oh yes, enforced reading of YA. I was browsing through the ginormous list of possible titles, trying to pick one that was either fantasy or a category justifiably unique from adventure, reality fiction, and graphic novel (which I’ve already done – no repeats on genre). I felt kind of bad, because I’ve only been reviewing titles that I know I love, except for Sea of Trolls, which I knew I’d love. Maybe I should have been branching out and taking more chances? But then I realized that I had happened to read plenty of titles on the list, I just hadn’t realized I could have reviewed them. Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Accidents of Nature, Dairy Queen, to name a few. So that made me feel a bit better.
Does anyone else feel this nagging guilt over all the books you don’t have time to read? The ones that get nudged aside in favor of a brand-new title, or an award winner, or one that just plain looks more fun? I try to read a mix – new titles & classics, adult, children’s & YA, contemporary and historical. But I never feel like it’s enough. I could try to keep up on one genre, maybe, but I don’t want to limit myself. How do you deal with it? (And what a ridiculous problem to have, really.)