"Here's a book I have to give you to read," my neighbor told me. "I think you'll like it."
He's an insistence force. I accept it and take it home. I note who loaned me the book and the date, and I add it to the collection. Books loaned me by friends and family, books my wife thinks I should read, and books I want to read make up the collection's three components.
It's a nice problem to have, that so many people read books and think of me and loan them to me. My wife has the same problem but our approach is different, mainly due to the difference in the nature of our activities, mostly because of my writing career and my employment demands. Her work outside of the house is volunteer work and takes up less of her time.
But she feels a commitment to read these books loaned and recommended to her as quickly as possible and return them to their owner. I do not. I warn them, "I won't have time to read them for a while."
"Don't worry," they reply. "Get to it when you get to it." A few, more confident, will add, "Once you start reading it, you'll be done in a day, maybe two. It's that good."
Well, that doesn't always happen. One person's perception of a masterpiece doesn't always square with another person's perception.
The books loaned to me are an electic assortment about technology, history, water, social issues, big data, sports, music, science fiction, fantasy, true crime, computer security, government, politics, philosophy, mystery, young adult, and writing. I sincerely want to read them because the loaner might be right, I might read it and discover it's a masterpiece.
My wife, knowing me best, is more judicious about her recommendations, and will suggest books because of the writing, including dialogue, characterization, pacing and plotting. Sometimes she'll ask me to read it so we can discuss it and vet her impressions.
My writing books, the ones I choose for myself, get priority, however. Their titles are usually culled from writing forums and websites. I'm keep trying to improve my writing, but I also enjoy words and writing.
There's where my commitment resides. I hope my friends and family understand, and accept my position. Perhaps if I can get my novel published, I can tell them, "I have a book I want you to read. I hope you'll like it."
Of course, if I don't read their suggestions, I'm giving them an out on reading mine.
I guess I better get busy reading more.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com