It is not enough that I over-analyze myself and my writing near to the edge of neuroticity; I do the same with my reading.
I fell into the "should" trap again.
April and May are studio months. It's near impossible to grind out any words at all, let alone read. I am determined not to feel guilty about this next year. I make up for it the other ten months.
The guilt continues in June, when I'm positively parched for books. All I want to do is read, but I feel guilty because my writing has been trickling in April and May.
And the shoulds have attacked, mostly with this mile-high TBR pile at my bedside of all the contemporary authors I'm dying to read, whose books grabbed my attention.
But like last winter, all I seem to want to read is 19th century literature, or something near. This surprises me, but I suppose it shouldn't.
And the guilt isn't just about reading instead of writing, or reading 19th century books instead of 21st century books, but re-reading books.
There are so very many books I am dying to read it depresses me. So the thought of re-reading a book a second or third time, is ... horrifying, like I'm really deciding that this indulgence means I will read two less books in my lifetime.
But I was wandering the aisles of Borders today, not really feeling like reading anything, when I realized I very much wanted to read Dickens and Bronte and (to move into the next century, although that's arguable) Greene and Irving. And I thought: why the heck shouldn't I?
So when I got home, I traipsed downstairs to find an old book. A book from my childhood. Something along the lines of The Secret Garden, but when I got downstairs, I forgot what I went down for.
Instead, I found a book by John Irving I'd obviously read, but have no recollection of.
God bless my poor memory! I think it's the first time I've ever rejoiced in my bad memory!
I can't remember A Son of the Circus.
Thank God. Shouldn't he be coming out with a new novel soon? It's been about two years ...
So how do you feel about re-reading? What books have you most re-read?
Do you ever feel guilty for re-reading when you have a pile of books still to be read? Do you ever trip over a book you forgot, and feel thrilled to get to read it again as if it were brand new?
If you could re-read one book right now, what would it be?