I've always been a bit of a serial monogamist when it comes to books (and guys). Even in college when I was taking four English classes that required a book a week to be read I still tried to manage it so that I only read one at a time. Generally, when I find myself reading two books at once I gravitate towards one, finish it, and then hop back over to the other. Despite what some may think [dramatic eyebrow raise], I am a pretty loyal person.
Right now things are different, though, and it's bothering me, but also a little liberating. I started reading Donna Tartt's The Little Friend at the end of last month, after enjoying her other two novels immensely. I should have known, though, that it would be an intense, dense, read, which may not be the best fit for my schedule right now. I can't read it when Sawyer is up, since he interrupts me frequently (as he should, given that he is only two years old) and I have trouble reading it when I am extremely tired, too, which is fairly common (this is mostly because the print seems a little bit smaller and the pages are PACKED full).
So, I found myself not reading as often as I usually do, since I felt limited by Tartt's book. Coincidentally, I noticed that I had a fair amount of students reading I Am Malala for their outside reading obligations, so I decided that I would read concurrently, since I (correctly) predicted it could be read in snippets. So, then there were two.
Then a senior student in our IB Program asked me to advise his Extended Essay on Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations, which we are reading first. I've read about young Pip almost two decades ago, so rereading was a must. Now I'm at three.
But, it gets worse. My students are beginning Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God this weekend. I always reread what they do, and will do so again, despite having read it three other times before.
So, if you'r keeping count that's four books that I'll be reading as of this weekend, unless I'm able to finish something before then (doubtful). 80% of me being thinks this is just way too much, but 20% of me who currently has three or four boxes of cereal in progress sort of appreciates the variety. But mostly, I do not. I feel detached and divided and don't really have a strong connection to any of them, really (except the Tartt book). How do people have affairs? How do polygamists do it?
So, far now the plan is to power through, and maybe at some point I'll be okay with double-dipping, having one more challenging novel going and one that's a bit easier. But four? I just can't.