Alas and alack, no Music Monday today. Despite only resuming MM recently, I'm already searching for and not finding inspiration, so if you think of any themes, please do let me know (not that you will, but it's barrenalbion at gmail dot com).

Instead, I shall inspire and delight you with tales of my rediscovered love of the printed word. I've always been an avid reader, but college, full-time work, and now a toddler hell bent on world domination have seriously dented any chance of me being a truly prolific reader. I'm envious of those of you who have some or all of those things going on, yet can still manage to read a book per week (or more). I'm prone to appalling laziness, and will often choose America's Next Top Model or a property programme over any one of the numerous books on my shelves.

Pathetic as it sounds, part of my lack of reading is due to insufficient light. We live in a small flat, and our lounge has a lovely, but truly impractical light fixture. The jumbled mass of delicate silver wires with small, tubular shafts really ties the room together, but it's not so good on the whole light-casting front. Shame. I have plenty of light options in our bedroom, but I don't really like alienating myself from The Dude when we have so little time to spend together anyway.

With this said, I now do a lot of my reading at bedtime, with my bedside lamp serving as a de facto interrogation light beaming right in The Dude's face while he's trying to sleep. I am also prone to 45 minute baths, or extended periods on the toilet, just so I can get some blessed reading done.

Molly committed a huge error when she introduced me to Goodreads, which has deprived me of many productive working hours in the last week. I want to add all the books on my shelves! I want to see what others are reading! I want to read reviews for every book I've ever read! Show me quotes! Quiz me! I.just.can't.get.enough. I'm more addicted to this stuff than I was to jabbing myself in the gut with my Puregon pen, so, suffice it to say, I must be in love.

I find reading quite a lonely hobby - once you finish a book, there isn't necessarily anyone to discuss it with. I talk to The Dude about what I read, but he'd need to stop scratching his balls and watching UFC long enough to take any notice of me pontificating on literature. The guy has an MBA and lectures for a living, but he's not much of a reader, the poor, simple soul.

Goodreads has discussion threads that I can just observe, or take part in. It's so nice to be able to see what other people think, rather than mulling over everything in my head as I'm going to sleep at night. People there can spell and know that "a lot" is two words. There are of course the arrogant, absurdly verbose twats like that pretentious hipster in your 20th Century American Lit class in college, but once those gasbags are bypassed, it's all good.

I finished Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale" last week, and though I have "Cat's Eye" waiting, I've chosen to read Gary Shteyngart's "Absurdistan" in an effort to rid myself of my all-Atwood-all-the-time ways. I'm regretting it so far, but then I think that's largely because I've dug myself into this Atwoodian ditch and I can't see non-Atwoodian sky. I have a habit of finding an author I like and then reading nothing else until I've completed their oeuvre, and so by forcing myself to read another author right now I'm trying to break that habit. Unfortunately I've chosen a work by a male author with a frankly disgusting male protagonist, so I didn't even bother to ease myself into this transition gently. Does anyone else find it hard to read books by authors of the other gender if their protagonists are also male with a very strong male perspective?

Anyway, this is also my long-winded way of telling you to befriend me on Goodreads. No, I'm not asking, I'm telling. Because Goodreads is a mix of my online/secret life and the real one, I don't have a username obvious to readers of this blog. If you are on Goodreads and want me to find you, please send me an email (again, barrenalbion at gmail dot com). I will then look you up, add you to my friends list, and then we will be BFFs. I'll tell you if your butt looks big in those pants, and we can go and get manicures and pedicures together. I think you know this is what's best for you.

My feed does not seem to be right in Bloglines. Major Bedhead, bless her, has been trying to tell me how to fix it, but I think I might be abnormally stupid because I can't figure it out. It seems fine in Google Reader, so where is Bloglines going wrong? Help! I miss my Bloglines people, and I think they think I'm dead. Please help me disabuse them of this disturbing notion.


wheelsonthebus said...

ok, just joined. but i've reached my limit for the day somehow...

kate said...

Ooh. That Goodreads sounds dangerous.

I knew there was a reason I like being your friend- Margaret Atwood is probably my most favorite author. I read Surfacing for a lit class my freshman year in college, and never stopped from there. I have been having a really hard time finishing Oryx And Crake, but other than that, I whip through her books, despite the profound and weighty sadness that seems to permeate as I fall further into her worlds.

Anyway, if you are even the slightest bit of a lit geek, you will really enjoy her retelling of the Odyssey, called The Penelopiad, (obviously) from the perspective of Penelope stuck at home waiting for stupid Odysseus.

So, yeah. I'll have to look in to the Goodreads thing... But, in the mean time, if you ever want to talk books, I'm always up for it.

jbondsgirl said...

How have I never heard of this goodness before? I have been lamenting my book dry spell since I quit my job at the library last June. I used to read the most interesting things because I was exposed to EVERYTHING as it came across the circ desk, in the transit, in the book drop, in the new orders. I miss all that. I'm going over to Goodreads now to check it out.


Molly said...

Yayy! New goodreads friends! I'm gonna friend you ALL.

LOVE goodreads. It makes me actually want to read to whittle away at my ridiculously lengthy "to read" list.

Major Bedhead said...

I just keep clicking your blog every day, in the hopes that I see an update. I don't know what else you can do about it. If I could figure out Google reader, I'd use it, but it confuses me so.

Also? I just finishe The Help. Fantastic book. I reviewed it on my blog tonight.

celiapowell said...

Oooh, ooh, I am on Goodreads! However, I am also a lurker, so you may not be longing to become BFFs :-) Goodreads is fun, one of my favourite sites - my profile is here.

Helen said...

I was thinking of starting up a virtual book club. You may have beat me to it.

Handmaid's Tale rocks.

Lollipop Goldstein said...

If you figure out how to fix the feed in bloglines, can you let me know too? I use Google Reader so you always show up there, but people say that my blog also doesn't update in Bloglines. That it stopped some time this winter.

Emily said...

I thought you had taken another wee vacation but it seems bloglines was making you (and others) disapear so we broke up and now I'm on google.

I have a weird relationship with Margaret Atwood - as a Canadian I have to like her but seriously I cannot read her back to back or I swear my head will explode. I've struggled with reading since we moved 18 months ago pretty much because people here read so much less than the brits that there's not a lot of good book talk going on - I'll have to check out goodreads!

Betty M said...

Damn you - that Goodreads is going to mean the computer eats into yet more of my day.

I am in a book club. Its an odd book club (most of us don't know each other outside book club, we have a straight man and we do poems too) and it generally scares me but makes me feel I am using a different bit of my brain. We read too much Philip Roth so disgusting male protagonists seem to be the order of the day.

I found with Blogline I kept having to delete and add back blogs to make it work which is why I have abandoned it for Google Reader (it was dead easy to copy my reading list over).

Tash said...

OMG, I feel like such an asshole, but here goes: I joined goodreads because some no-one there somehow got an advance copy of a book written by a friend of mine, and trashed it. Same book was eventually given glowing write up in NYorker, NYT, etc., but of course we all had to go and see wtf this person had written and talk my friend down off the ledge.

And I never went back, and suddenly everyone and their dogs are asking me to be their friend on goodreads! And here's my deal: I'm not "out" with my blog. And I am petrified that my circles will overlap whether its goodreads or facebook, and there are people out there I don't want to hear from. I know people think it's just a rip to hear from their best friend in 2nd grade, but honestly? I'm not one of them.

And I don't have time, which is probably the main reason. I'm in a real life bookclub, which I suppose on occasion leaves a bit to be desired and sometimes I really crave a similar viewpoint (I'm apparently one of only 3 people on the planet who hated "TIme Traveler's Wife," e.g.), but for now it's what I have.

So. Here's the upshot: I'll think about it. In the meantime, my favorite genre is History Mystery -- let me know if you're interested in titles.

And I miss Music Monday! Will think of a theme.

DrSpouse said...

Gah, another time sink. Have just added you on Goodreads.

Meg said...

Pru - I did think you were dead. Only that electriclady mentioned your feed did I know. I know switching to google reader is no big deal, but it's fussy time I don't have. Wah.

I feel exactly the same about make authors actually. I actually avoid reading any 20th century classic literature written by men. I despise Kerouac and his ilk. Hunter S Thompson can bite my arse. Etc. Etc. T. and I often faux-argue about this topic.

I love Atwood, though. She's my foavourite author ever, and Cat's Eye is my favourite book.

I haven't heard of the book site, but I'll check it out. I could get way too into it, I think.

The Best Revenge said...

My favorite part of GoodReads is being about to print off my "to-read" list and bring it with me to the used book store!

Nic said...

Bloglines just updated with TWELVE of your posts!!! It definitely seems to have something against you. Now I have my reading material for my next pumping session ;-)