Today is Valentine’s Day, and also my son Kyle’s 10th birthday. Jeff and I have been parents for a whole decade. This is too frightening to contemplate for too long, so I’ll quickly move on from there… But anyway, Kyle had three friends over last evening, and two of them spent the night, and one of them is still here, for another half hour (it’s 230pm). So, both Kyle and Ryan have been involved with their company and haven’t required a lot from Jeff or me, but at the same time, we’ve had extra kids here, and that can affect the general mood of the house, or make it a bit harder to just relax. But, it’s been all right.
So I feel in a bit of a funk with regard to my reading. Since I began the POC Reading Challenge, I’ve read a memoir called Once upon a Time When We were Colored by Clifton Taulbert, and this morning I finished a poetry collection by Audre Lorde called The Marvelous Arithmetics of Distance. The Lorde book also counts for the Clover, Bee, and Reverie poetry challenge, and both books count toward RYOB 2010. In fact, I think I’m off to a decent start all around: five completed for the RYOB challenge, and two finished for each of the other challenges. I have my next audio loaded on my MP3 player, The Keep by Jennifer Egan, a novel I’ve had for a couple years that’s been calling to me from the bookshelf. I’m looking forward to starting it, but haven’t done any cleaning today (see: my son’s birthday, other kids in house, and whatnot), so it might be a few days before I dive into it. I have more titles in mind for my challenges, including a second memoir by Taulbert that I believe is a sequel to the first one I read.
This all sounds pretty good, like I’ve made an okay start and have ideas to make further progress, but there’s something holding me back. Specifically, it’s Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray. I’ve had it for several years, started thinking during 2008, “Hey, I really should read that sometime,” thought I’d get to it during 2009, FINALLY started it in late November, and here it is, halfway through February 2010, and I’ve been sometimes reading my print copy (800-page mass market paperback, not too easy on the eyes or comfy to hold) and sometimes reading it on my iPod Touch, and often enjoying it but sometimes just trying to get through the next chapter, but all the while with the feeling deep in my heart that it will take me forever to finish this book. The Stanza app on my iPod shows a percentage indicating where you’re at in the book, and after two and a half months, I’ve read less than 60% of the book.
So what now? Do I try once more to push on and see if I have mostly “Hey, I like this!” chapters from here on, and less “Who is this character again and what is he doing here?” chapters and “Should I be reading something else?” moments? Do I put it “on hold” again for a couple weeks, read through a couple other (shorter!) books, then pick it up again? Or, just put it aside indefinitely, and try not to feel like a quitter? Or perhaps… try to find an audio version and see if I have more luck with that than the mmpb and iPod e-book versions? That last one might be a good option if I can find one with a decent narrator. Yes, I’ll try to locate an audio version and give that a try before giving up. I’m not done yet… not quite done, anyway!