I’ve been shockingly abysmal over the last two days. The closest I came to doing any actual writing was on a Goodreads review of the latest biography of Queen Elizabeth II.
Instead of writing I’ve been swallowed by books. It’s been sort of like how I imagine a $1.99 Las Vegas Buffet would be: mediocre food in such massive quantities that you feel compelled by the perceived bounty even while you choke down tasteless stuff.
Allow me to back up a second. A couple of weeks ago–while my husband was in China, actually–I cracked down on myself and organised my Kindle. I’ve always had categories, but the books often didn’t get assigned to one. I had fifty or sixty strays hanging around without category; in many cases I had long ago forgotten what the book was actually about. So I soldiered on and got everything squirreled away in its proper place.
That’s when I was hit with the midlife crisis realisation that there will never be enough time to read all the books. Now while I’m fairly certain I’ll make it through the 92 in my To Be Read category, I know that there are always more books in the world than there are time to read them. For most of my life it’s been something I’ve accepted without rancor but something snapped.
That’s the way my mid-life crisis is going to be, I guess–nerdy and idiotic, with no real style. I’m not buying a Ferrari or taking a lover or even colouring my hair. I’m just reading everything I can get my hands on and casting it aside if it doesn’t move me or tantalise in any way. The only lovers my husband needs to fear are the cagey, shifty and merciless twenty-six letters of the alphabet. And my Kindle is cheaper than a sports car.
I’ve felt a lot over the last week or so that with all the books in the world it seems like a bit of a stretch for me to write even more. There’s a peculiar vanity about it, thinking that my way of looking at things is valuable enough to warrant even the semi-permanence of a modern novel. If reading and writing weren’t such a compulsory part of my life I think I might even give it all up.
Ha. Just that thought, the idea of walking away from literacy, is enough to make my blood run cold. I suppose that’s the ghost story I can tell myself, “the woman who couldn’t read”.
*(Although that’s going to be on the agenda, moreso because I’m curious as to what I’d look like without the gray ‘highlights’ I’ve had since I was 28.)