The Forgotten Books
November 15, 2014
I could remember what I was reading on vacation because I always put the book(s) in the same place(s). The ones I was reading I left either on the dresser or on the bedside table. This isn't the case at home so I end up with books that I forgot I was reading.
This afternoon, I read another chapter of The Summer Book by Tove Jansson (author of the Moomin books). It's a beautiful book, and I only read a chapter at a time so that I can slowly soak it in. I started it in July, and put it next to the chair in our bedroom.
The chair is placed in the bedroom so that we can see the flowers in the backyard. It's in the space that the bedside table used to be, and there isn't room next to it for a table. I put the book in the small space between the chair and the wall, and forgot about it. I notice it every few weeks, sit down and read a chapter, and then forget it again (this afternoon, I took the other book off of it).
I'm finding that Goodreads occasionally reminds me of the books I've forgotten because of the "Currently Reading" list on the home page. Sometimes I go back to reading them, and other times I just delete them off of the list.
For instance, I was getting allergy shots last year, and you have to wait for 20 minutes to see if you have a reaction (or longer if you have one, as I often did which is why I eventually stopped). I had a bag with three books in it that I took to the shots. When I stopped going, the bag sat in the playroom for a long time until I finally admitted to myself that I wasn't going back and put the books away. I'll get back to them someday, but I deleted them from the "Currently Reading" list.
On vacation, I started reading Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore. It's the sort of book I only read when I'm awake and attentive enough to really appreciate it. It keeps getting lost since I don't read it every day. Currently, it's ended up under a pile of really cute t-shirts that all three kids wore. I'm going to take pictures of the shirts and then give the shirts away. Maybe then I can get back to the book.
About two weeks ago, I started reading The Song of the Quarkbeast, a fun, Young Adult, fantasy book (the sequel to The Last Dragonslayer). It's the sort of book I could read at bedtime so I put it on the ledge to remind myself to bring it upstairs. It's gotten covered by lots of other things. Someday it will ascend.
You would think that I'd remember a book on the end table next to the chair where I usually sit in the living room. No...
I still have had Listening Below the Noise: A Meditation on the Practice of Silence on my Currently Reading list. It's another book that I only read a chapter of occasionally so that it sinks in. Unfortunately, It got buried in the pile. I still had four or five chapters left to go when it had to go back to the library. I just rounded up and marked it as read. I really should own a copy because I'll go back to it over and over.
Some are much older. I started reading a chapter a day of Inspiration from Pope Francis as a Lenten practice. I put the book in the desk shelf right next to the computer - and forgot it halfway through the first month. The chapters are in alphabetical order, and I got as far as "Education."
The worst ones are e-books. I started reading Nine Goblins by T. Kingfisher (who is really Ursula Vernon, one of my favorite authors and bloggers) back in April. I put it on both the laptop and dear husband's Nook. There's absolutely nothing, besides the Goodreads listing, to remind me. The Nook is on the credenza (to the left of the pile of shirts in the photo above), and its case does not tell me that there's an unread book inside. Putting a yellow sticky note on it won't help because yellow sticky notes mean "work" so I'd ignore it when I'm ready to read.
The two best places to remind me to read are the eye level shelf on the most accessible bookshelf downstairs. I usually put current books on the left side on top of the stack. If other books end up on top of them, however, they descend into oblivion.
The top of the bedside stack(s) is(are) also best, although I forgot about Damiano for most of the summer because of other books.
I'll often start a new book because I'm not in the right mood for one of the current ones. I usually have at least a non-fiction or two, a sci fi/fantasy or two, a romance, and a general fiction going at the same time. I end up being in the middle of ten or more because I forget some of them.
A happy problem.