Lately I’ve been reading five or six books at a time. Two books on the iphone, alternating whenever I have a break between appointments. One book on the ipad while eating my breakfast. One paperback ready in my secret escape haven, the bathroom, and another next to my bed. And two books, non-fiction, I haven’t been able to finish yet.
Two romance novels: a historical romance in which aristocratic Anthony is trying to seduce school-teacher Madeline, and a time-travel romance in which Sara is thrown back two hundred years in time to a gypsy camp to find her one true love. The paperback next to my bed is a middle grade novel recommended by my son. Young Jack and his butler travel to California to find gold in order to help the boy’s aunt keep her home. On the ipad: an adventure novella about two assassins trying to end slavery while falling in love. My serious reading: a book about meditation and another about will power. Just what I need. And last, a book detailing the historical travels of a collection of miniatures from Japan. I haven’t fallen head over heels with that one.
So many characters and their various escapades swirl in my head. Was it Toma the gypsy who hid the pig in a tent, or Master Jack who stuffed it out a porthole? Is Madeline the one whose father is ill or Sara? And which heroine is the really gorgeous sixteen years old who keeps her face covered at all times?
I guess I have high expectations of my memory, to keep all these people and events, their families, looks, and characters straight in my mind. Perhaps if that was all I tried to remember, I’d be fine. But I expect yet more. I’ve been planning three novels at the same time while attempting to revise another. I keep all my appointments in memory -- I write them down too, but I rarely recheck my calendar to make sure that my memory was right. And let’s not mention the piles upon piles of forgotten papers on my desk, the stuffed animals and other toys the kids have left there, and our camera, with photos from our last two trips still inside (yet another characteristic hoarding of details instead of uploading them into a better safekeeping device).
Oh dear. My life is chaotic beyond belief or relief! Why can’t I just read one book at a time? Keep one novel to write at a time in my head. Clear the desk, check the calendar, free my memory of all the phone numbers that have been gone almost thirty years ago (09-448-624 was our family’s phone number when I grew up). Perhaps it is time for me to clear my head and my desk of this unhelpful stuff. But at least in books, I find that sheer number adds to my excitement of life.
What books are you reading now?