I've been having terrible reading ADD lately--my sidebar says I'm working on Beyond Black, but that's a lie. The first 40 pages or so were pretty good, but they made me feel all squirmy and discontented--the image I get is like trying to feed a baby who doesn't want to eat--so I'm doing us both a favor and returning it to the library until I'm ready to try again. Some other time, I guess. I picked up Yann Martel's Life of Pi for the weekend, but I knew it was a false start even as I took it off the shelf. Again, I want to read it. The first three chapters were really good. I just don't want to read it right now.
Apparently, being in a bookstore on a budget does wonders to clarify the readerly vision.
You see, I lost my debit card last week, and I'm living on cash until the new one comes. I had to go to the actual, brick-and-mortar bank yesterday and talk to an actual person to get money. I have money for groceries and gas and bridge toll for the week. I do not have money for books, no matter how pretty they are or how nicely I think they would fit into my collection.
I'm not really a book buyer anyway--I like new books as much as the next girl, of course, but I get overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices, and then I realize how many of the books out there are bad, and I end up buying books I've already read. At least I can trust them, right? But I was in Barnes and Noble last night, and the Fiction and Literature section owned me. I was all over the 20th-century female writers: there's this beautiful new paperback copy of The Portable Dorothy Parker that I've been eyeing, and it pained me to leave it there (reminding myself that I have a less pretty but perfectly serviceable copy of The Collected Poems of Dorothy Parker at home). They had a whole Dawn Powell collection, and I've been meaning to read Powell, but I don't know where to start. There was Simone de Beauvoir, and there was Flannery O'Connor, and now they're coming out with great editions of all of them, and I have no sales resistance when it comes to matte covers and rough-cut pages. It was ugly. I was practically snuggling the books.
In the end, common sense and the prospect of going back to the bank prevailed; I didn't buy anything. I feel so much better, though--I went straight home and curled up with Eudora Welty: The Collected Stories, and it's just right.