on the shelf…

I’m doing some cleaning and rearranging around the house, due to the vast amounts of free-time I seem to have lately (no complaints!), and decided to make this cute little nook in the living room for my current “leisure reading” books —

It’s right under the windows in a spot that, during the winter, hosts a space heater but which looks sad and empty during the summer.  Thus, books (propped up on the left, if you can see it, by Alexander’s basket-o’-video games…).

One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about not being in rehearsal for a show is that my evenings have been gloriously free and I’ve been able to rediscover my love of reading-for-the-hell-of-it.  Reading has always been a hugely important part of my life, but somehow over the years, after the class assignments, the day-jobs, the rehearsals, the needing to make every moment as industrious as possible, I stopped letting myself just sit down with a book and engage with it for an hour or two.  I imagine I’m not alone in that.

So I’ve been reacquainting myself with the act of reading, and I’ve made some lovely little discoveries in the process.  For instance, I always faulted myself for never being able to finish a book.  My house is littered with volumes that I got all of a chapter or two into then abandoned.  Then I’d never start new ones because I felt an obligation — to myself? to the author? to the gods of publishing? — to finish the books I’d already started.  Counter-productive cycle, yes?  Adding to that was the fact that, with so many books I was interested in reading, I couldn’t fathom devoting so much time to just one.  Yes — I have a fear of commitment.  To books.

But then a remarkable thing happened.  One night, when I was feeling particularly antsy, I randomly grabbed three different books on three completely different topics, sat down with them in a stack, and proceeded to read one chapter from each of them.  It was so simple, and yet so profound — I could read multiple books in one sitting!  It solved so many problems!  I didn’t have to feel like I was slogging through my waiting-to-be-read list one volume at a time, and I was free from having to devote too much time to one particular book in one sitting.  It changed everything (yes, I realize, as I’m typing this, how ridiculous this must sound — don’t judge).  So now I have this little slew of books that I’m making my way through, in a casual rotating fashion, and I’m just loving it.

So, just what am I reading right now —

Now, anyone who knows me should be shocked that I’m reading anything at all by or even about Glenn Beck, but the first two books do serve a purpose — they’re background reading for what I’m hoping to make a semi-long-term writing project on my other blog.  The next book, James Loewen’s ‘Lies My Teacher Told Me’ is for that as well.

‘Queer Science’ is something of a classic that I started reading back in oh-five, but never finished (surprise, surprise…), so I’m slowly working my way through it again.  Once it’s finished, I’m hoping to get LeVay’s more recent ‘Gay, Straight, and the Reason Why:  The Science of Sexual Orientation’, which aims to bring the information in ‘Queer Science’ (published in 1997) up to date.

I mentioned wanting to read ‘Hothouse Kids’ a while back, so now I am.  I’m only a chapter in so far, but I think it’ll be an interesting read (and hopefully not too depressing).

‘Poisonwood Bible’ has been on our shelf for years, but we’ve never read it.  It’s one of my sister’s summer assignments for school, so I figured I’d give it a read and maybe we’d have something to talk about.

‘Bushwhacked’ has also been on our shelf for a good while.  I noticed while doing the cleaning and rearranging mentioned above that it’s written by the late, great Molly Ivins.  Cardinal Stage Company — a small professional theater company here in Bloomington — will be presenting the one-woman show based on Ivins, ‘Red Hot Patriot’, next season, so it also seemed to warrant a quick read.

‘Walking the Tightrope of Reason’ is Alexander’s.


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