For the last several weeks, I haven’t been able to read much at all. I have something like 4 books going at once, which is probably part of the problem, but every time I sit down to read, it immediately loses its appeal and I end up watching The Golden Girls on my phone instead.
The only reason I’ve been able to make any progress on any book lately is because I’ve been listening to audio books. Currently, I’m listening to The People’s History of the United States – the unabridged version – and at 34 hours long, I have been listening to it since January 23rd. I’m in the homestretch now – only 14% left to go (around 3 hours) and I’ve been listening to it while I do dishes and on those rare days that I actually get my act together enough to walk to work. I always knew that listening to it was the only way I’d ever read that book, and I’m glad that I’ve done it the way that I have. I’ve also read bits of it in the Kindle version of the book, but by and large, it’s been mostly listening. After I am done listening to this book, I’m going to listen to the book Nixonland, which is almost 37 hours long. Should be done about this time next year.
Another audiobook of sorts that I’m listening to is Mort by Terry Pratchett. It all started a couple weeks ago when Heidi decided that we should read a book together out loud. Back in the early days of our marriage, we used to do this a lot, especially with the first five Harry Potter books. We haven’t done it in years, and it’s kind of fun. Anna is even listening. We’ve had such a good time doing it that we will probably do another after we are done with Mort.
The novel I have going is called No One Can Pronounce My Name which is quite good but for some reason I stalled out around 50% of the way through the book. Fortunately, I picked it up last night and read 60 pages, making a good dent in it and renewing my faith in the fact that I can still read books if I put my mind to it. No One Can Pronounce My Name is the story of an unlikely friendship between two Indian-Americans, Harit and Ranjana. It is so much more than that but, much like I always used to say about John Irving novels, the book really kind of defies synopsis.
Sometimes when I find myself uninterested in reading it’s because I have been finding my story from other sources, be it through movies or TV or podcasts. But I haven’t been doing much of that either (save the aforementioned Golden Girls binge and I’ve seen every episode of that show a thousand times.) Listening to audiobooks really makes my podcasts pile up, but I’ve just come to terms with the fact that I can’t really do both. I have a love/hate relationship with podcasts anyway, usually preferring to listen to music anyway, but I do have a few favorites that try to stay caught up on.
My goal is to read 30 books this year and so far I have read 14. I am so close on the three that I mentioned that once I finish them, I will only be two books behind for the year. So there is still hope! Unless I get distracted by The Golden Girls.