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Unread Books

I keep on lying to myself that I will sit and read (or finish) a book (one of many) next to, piled up, adjacent or near my bed or, often, near at hand.

My excuses are rare; distraction, a more pressing project, a hangover or is it a cold?, the flu? The 10–30 minutes in bed where I fall asleep, do not get me far though it a collection of short stories (depending on difficulty, and many many of my choices are rampant with ‘difficult styling’) I can often make it through one. But I often do not remember a great deal about what I’ve read in bed — at night.

My most successful reading (I tell myself) is on the bus. Lately that has been a disaster, those of us unable/willing to pay Uber/taxis are supremely interesting, often annoying, sometimes dangerous and totally distracting.

At my studio it is computer work (which turns into a distraction), practising (which does take place daily), composing and writing.

The inside of my head seems more interesting that that pile of books.

Yet that sentence is a lie.

When I can settle myself, relinquish the other “pressing matters” I’m content and involved in the reading I choose to do.

The books (works) I own or borrow are hopeful handfuls. Things I hoped would capture and hold me.

But I am often a prone reader and as such someone who read unto sleep …

Another aspect is how disappointing books I think or hope will give me insight or inspiration, what I say or think of as books that will feed me.

There are too many axes to grind in the world.

There are books disguising themselves as neutral and just the facts that are arguments and what is being argued is too often unclear.

My mind fogs when I realize that the reason I am not able to stay with an author is that I have no idea why they have taken up this particular ‘axe’.

This is not a problem with books that are blatant provocations. I can read those but other do not finish. I feel like I read enough to ‘get the point’ and stop because I don’t want to be beaten up by it. I want to understand and then think of it by myself.

There are genres that I once found fascination but am no longer, or at least for the nonce, interested in.

I wonder if this is an ‘age thing’? Many of my male friends only read history or biography.

If they read fiction they do not speak of it. If they read fiction it is likely to be fictionalized history.

A category I have never been able to ‘get into’.

Reading the books that call to me?, I truly wish I was a better person who with strong focus could sit and read, as I once did, a book cover to cover at one sitting.

To wish that is a noble lie.

I am, I hope, a noble liar.

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