28 October 2009

Half-read but not forgotten.

Today I did something not entirely academically responsible, but intellectually rewarding nonetheless. I woke up around 9, rolled out of bed, ate breakfast ( a COFFEE FREE one, I might add), and then sauntered back to my room. I decided class was not going to happen today. Instead, I stared at my makeshift bookcase (a 2-shelved wicker unit that has served various purposes throughout the years such as an over-the-toilet toilet paper storage facility and a wall decoration for my mother's glass parrot collection--before I clepto'd it and brought it out of the house with me) and looked at all the books wedged in there (the shelves are short, and not exactly wide enough to house all the books I accumulate and carry with me, hence the term "makeshift").

I have this really nasty habit of starting books, diving into them really, and getting halfway through, then going and starting another book. "You can read 2 books at once, Cassandra," I always tell myself. But then I become so involved in the first half of my new book that the old book is quickly placed on the makeshift wicker bookshelf. I repeat this scenario, too, so that my makeshift bookcase is littered with a bunch of half-read books. Today I decided to put my foot down. Today I set out to finish Julie and Julia by Julie Powell (If you recall, this was one of my goals for SEPTEMBER). And guess what? I powered through those last 157 pages, and even read the preview of her next book (which I promised myself I would not buy until I have taken the same action with a few more half-read but not forgotten books).

And it was so anticlimactic, in a tasteful way. I didn't feel overwhelmingly satisfied with my small but oh-so-overdue feat. I didn't even care too much for the ending of the book (I finished the book only because I feel like I owed it to both Julia Child and Julie Powell, but I honestly was getting sick of reading about butter and oil and expensive meats, and more butter). But something important emerged within today: I set my mind to something so seemingly small (although after reading 157 pages about butter made me feel a bit heavy) and actually accomplished it. In September I made a statement (see also: Goals for September) that I wanted to be "better". Even I am amazed by my own simplicity and simultaneous ambiguity. So I guess being "better" isn't extreme. It's small and simple and buttery and requires little more than some alone time, a blanket, and a half-read but not forgotten book from your makeshift bookcase.

[6 days with caffeine, and I'm surprisingly being productive].

1 comment :

  1. Oh gosh, I do that too! Usually it's because I lose a book, so I start another-then find the first book but never finish it-it's an endless cycle!


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