the growing pile on my nightstand

I just restarted my New Yorker subscription three weeks ago, and already I’m behind on my reading. By two weeks.

Around that same time I bought three books (two novels and a screenplay), and so far, I’m only halfway through one of them.

And two days ago, I went to the library to pick up a travel guidebook, and somehow I came home with two other books too, a novel and a memoir.

My nightstand pile of reading material is growing to unsafe heights:

-The New Yorker fiction issue from December that I’ve yet to finish
-A fat copy of Anna Karenina that I keep thinking I’ll read but don’t. (I’m one of the apparent few who hasn’t read this, I’ll admit it. Everyone is always talking about how great it is, but I just can’t seem to get started on it.)
-The two most recent issues of the New Yorker, an issue of Sunset, and the latest issue of Poets and Writers.
Brokeback Mountain, Story to Screenplay (I read the story long ago, but was curious how they made a short story into a two hour movie. Also, I’ve never really looked at a screenplay and was curious about what it would be like to write one.)
The Dissident, by Nell Freudenberger (she looks so young in her author pic on the book jacket!)
Slow Man, by J.M. Coetzee (I haven’t read Coetzee’s work before, and I’m not sure I should have started here.)
The Hungry Tide, Amitav Ghosh (I read Ghosh’s nonfiction/memoir In An Antique Land and loved it, so I thought I’d try his fiction.)
Istanbul, by Orhan Pamuk. (This looks dense, but good. I’ve been wanting to read Pamuk’s work, but… well, I’ve been wanting to read a lot of things.)

My desire to read is not at all proportional to the time I actually spend reading.


4 thoughts on “the growing pile on my nightstand

  1. I’m behind on The New Yorker, too, but the good news is all those magazines I subscribed to because I was about to lose a bunch of airline miles–well, their run finally ended. Else my nightstand pile might have killed me in the night had it somehow fallen over on me.

  2. I also haven’t read Anna Karenina, or any of the other books you’ve listed here. I’ve currently got about 50 books to read which are lurking behind my bedroom door as my bookcase is full.

    I’m currently reading The Secret History, which I’d misplaced for about a week after reading a few pages.

  3. I tried Anna Karenina years back, but put it down because it struck me as really just a soap opera from the days before television. I don’t like soap opera on TV, and therefore don’t much care to spend a week or two of my free time reading it as text.

    You read very different things from me, but in the same way: stacks of them all over the place. I choose from them depending on my mood. Will it be Horatio Hornblower today? or “Rich Like Us,” which I just started (a novel about India under Indira Gandhi’s state of emergency)? or “The War With Hannibal” by Livy?

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