Now I don’t need to relearn the days of the week to realise that it is definitely not Tuesday. I thought this week’s theme sounded fun, but I had no time to write a post on the actual day the meme encouraged. Then I thought I’d post it on Thursday, which would still maintain the pleasant alliterative ring. But I sort of forgot, so here we are, writing a Top Ten Tuesday post on a Sunday. (I’m usually such a rule-follower that I felt I needed to offer a long explanation about this deliberate flouting of rules)
Without further ado, the top ten book-related problems I have are:
1) I’m incapable of having any sort of serious, focused conversation in a bookstore. Or a library. Or even a cafe with a decent bookshelf. I just tend to nod and mutter vaguely and make a sudden grab for any interesting-looking book I spot, completely alarming the person who thought I was listening to them. A concentration of books renders me hopelessly distracted, instantly transforming me into a terrible conversational companion.
2) When I travel to a new place (or even an old one, really), I research the bookstores I can visit, and drop by all of them. While I love doing this and don’t intend to stop, this habit is fraught with dangers for my wallet and backpack-carrying shoulders. Every time I enter a bookstore on a vacation, I feel like I can’t leave it empty-handed. What better souvenir than a book, right?
3) I actually love lending books to people. I always want to thrust my favourites (or books I think they’ll like) in their hands and demand they enjoy it as much as I did. But I feel terribly awkward asking for the books to be returned. So now I’m constantly caught between the desire to pass my books around and the paranoia of ever letting them out of my sight. Maybe I should channel my inner librarian and make a list of the books I’ve lent, the people they’re with, and the approximate date I should expect them back.
4) I want to read EVERYTHING. While I know this is technically impossible, it doesn’t stop me from trying. Thanks to which I get immensely stressed out by the amount of things I have yet to read and the ones I’m never going to be able to.
5) Thanks to my inability to comprehend the simple fact that it is impossible to read everything, I read voraciously in order to finish everything I can. But sometimes I start to feel that I’m reading too much, too fast. This habit coupled with my notoriously poor memory means that I don’t know how much I’ve actually retained from all that I’ve read.
6) Since I’m known as a reader among friends, people always ask me for recommendations or for a list of my favourites. I love matching books with people, but thanks to my aforementioned terrible memory, I can only remember a minuscule list of authors and books I want to talk about, even though I’ve loved many more. Fortunately, Goodreads comes to my rescue. I never kept a track of my books and reading habits before that, so I have no idea how I managed.
7) Mealtimes at home are always accompanied by a book in hand. This means that food crumbs and stains always make their way to the pages, no matter how much I try to save the book. I’ve learned that I’m a messy eater and that I’m not allowed to bring borrowed books anywhere near food.
8) In recent weeks, I’ve begun feeling uncomfortable about my ignorance and (previous) lack of interest in the Indian book scene. I’m caught up on the American book culture thanks to all the newsletters I’ve subscribed to, but my mind’s a complete blank when it comes to books coming out of India. I’m trying my best to remedy this and seek information, but the absence of access to an organised Indian book scene makes it incredibly frustrating.
9) I love my self-proclaimed bookworm cred and would love to wear it (literally wear it) with pride. But hunt as I might, it’s difficult to get bookish merchandise like tees, tote bags and mugs celebrating books and reading in India. Of course, I can order from websites based outside the country, but they’re expensive and I’m poor.
10) Because I’m largely steeped in fictional worlds, their characters have given me unrealistic expectations about interactions and relationships with real people. Does that ever go away?