Friday, January 01, 2010

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere! and gie's a hand o’ thine! And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught, for auld lang syne.

As I write this, it is snowing again.
This makes me inordinately happy. Even though last week’s snow is grey slush and the grossness prevents me from wearing my new Uggs 24/7. I must put on the wellies when I go outside. But still snowflakes bring out the little kid in me.

The boys are downstairs squabbling.
The baby's diaper needs changing, and I have already mopped the bathroom twice this morning.
H is STILL home.
I generally am not a wife who complains when her husband works a lot (as is usually the case) or when he’s home on vacation. And it’s not his presence, precisely – it’s simply that the holidays, and all of us home, and some protracted bouts of various gross illnesses have me longing for routine and a clean, decluttered house that smells of something more pleasant than Clorox.

And I was forced to pry the D key cover off, and now I look like I am typing everything on the white trash equivalent of a normal laptop.

And it’s only the first!
Hmmm. Perhaps it is going to be a looooong year…

So. Enough of that. [Moving briskly to another subject, perhaps accompanied by a hand clap of some authoritative sort.]

(Hmm, it isn’t all bad – I did have a delicious dream last night about Robert Pattinson and pirates. Seriously. Not all bad, indeed.) I mean, it's hard to be wholly pessimistic when RPatz looks at you like THIS.

Last year I took an almost unprecedented-for-me step of NOT keeping track of my reading activity. The tracking and tallying of books was cramping my reading pleasure, and there’s just no list or analysis or spreadsheet worth that price. Of course, I am not and never have been a linear, organized sort of reader. I more often than not have two or three or six books going at once, and I finish or not according to whim. I do NOT feel compelled to finish a book merely because I started it – life is too short. Uber-librarian Nancy Pearl’s rule of thumb works well for me: you read the first 50 pages, and if you aren’t engaged, put the book down.

However, while I read what I wanted when I wanted, willy-nilly, and in fact, actually sacrificed some reading time to my newfound knitting passion, I miss being able to talk about the best book I read in the past year, or the worst, or the most compelling mystery, or whatever. I still maintained my “Books I want to check out” list, in spreadsheet form this year. The problem with it being a spreadsheet living on my laptop is that when I most need it – at the library or bookstore, usually – it’s unavailable. But the little purse notebook always seems to get lost or destroyed. I am toying with the idea of maintaining the list on the Notes tool of my primitive cell phone. Perhaps more on this later.

This morning I dug out the few old blank books in which I maintained my TBR list and various reviews, and without much forethought took my new favorite Sharpie and my favorite blank book – a nice, thick number with a black leather cover and a tidy elastic band to keep it all together - and inscribed “2010” in bright blue across the first blank page.
Under it, the title of the book I finished last night – yes, this is cheating, but it was a GOOD book.
Under that, in pencil for easy erasing, the titles of the six – SIX! – books I am currently reading. This reckoning will take place every few weeks, just to give me a loose idea of what I am reading (and finishing or not finishing). The pencil lists are informal and will not be erased or updated, but as each book is finished, its title will be added to the list with the blue Sharpie.

That’s the plan.

I am not going to promise to blog every day. It’s just not a feasible undertaking what with my four small annoying children and/or my husband’s grumpy looks every time I flip open my laptop.
I am going to change my tag strategy and probably be much looser about post titles/quotes. Or at least their attribution.
But I will try to post more regularly.
And be as interesting as possible.
I also promise not to discuss any bodily fluids requiring Clorox clean up after this post.
I think those are resolutions I can keep.

Happy 2010, and may the new year and new decade bring you peace, love, and lots of great new books.


Jess said...

I think I'm glad you're not posting every day - I love your words (Oh! How I love your posts!) but I think you think a lot about your posts before you put them down, and with your five (I include your husband; I include mine in my count of kids too)I think it would be very hard to do every day.

Plus there's the added bit of there are so many good book reccys I can handle per week....

Happy New Year, hon. I stumble and don't say what I really mean, which is I'm glad you're here, and blogging, and your blue Sharpie sounds lovely and a good idea.

delta said...

May God bless you and keep you and let his light shine upon you in 2010! I know that probably sounds strange coming from me, but it is heartfelt and sincere. Here's to books and reading and family and friends and houses that smell of something better than Clorox in the coming year!

MsCellania said...

I have been posting more regularly, too. More reading as well. Does this mean less time spent at school for me? Less housework? Less time on the treadmill is more like it! Anyway, always nice to visit here.

Beth said...

For 2010 I wish you many cuddlesome hours with your tea and your books, surrounded by sleeping, sweet-smelling children who keep their inner contents to themselves.

I do believe I am going to copy your book-and-Sharpie system. Now which one of these delicious blank books that I haven't been able to bring myself to write in should I use?

Badger said...

Am I formally on record as not understanding the appeal of RPatz like AT ALL? If not, please place me in that column immediately, if not sooner.

On the other hand, your description of the new leather-bound blank book with its crisp pages and the blue Sharpie and the PENCIL and the LISTS = my idea of awesome porn.

Mary said...

I am copying that photo and sending it to a 42 year old female friend who is obsessed by RP.

And a very lovely New Year to you and I look forward to reading your list of books so much!

Kathy said...

Or you could maintain it on the spreadsheet application in google docs -- that way you could access it on any computer. Except for in the bookstores.

Happy New Year.

blackbird said...

It's a good plan!

"May God bless you and keep you and let his light shine upon you in 2010!"...I think that's the nicest wish for someone for the New Year and second it!