Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Attack of the Library Books

Back from a short hiatus. Had to defeat a brief bout of depression, what with layoffs at work and my struggles with my book. But now I'm feeling better.

Anyway, I've been getting stressed lately about my library book problems. The Orlando library just makes it too easy for someone like me. I log on to their website, find the book I want and click "Submit." And viola! They deliver the book to my doorstep. So I spend part of my work day browsing Amazon.com for reviews of interesting novels. If something looks good I'll order it from the library website. The problem is that I can't stop doing this. I now have 18 books out. There's no way I can read all these in time. I'm limited by the number of times I can renew a book and I'll soon be forced to return some. My problem also lies in the fact that I can't go to a bookstore without buying several more. Or I may even go to Amazon and order a used book at a cheap price. I've stacked all the books that I've recently purchased and ordered from the library on my coffeetable. They total 37 books!

I want to read the new books I buy but feel pressured to read the library ones first. I'd get excited about finishing a few novels and returning them, only to have several more arrive in the following days. I just can't reduce the books I have out. So the other day I decided to return the majority of the books I have out since I can always take them out again later. The idea sounds great, until I went back to their site and ordered a couple of more books. And then I found another one on my doorstep this morning. I just can't control myself.

It's funny: I just finished Wally Lamb's "She's Come Undone," in which one of the characters loses his teaching job. He decides to spend the next few months catching up on reading the "classics" in order to improve his writing skills so that he can become a writer. I'd love to do that. Only I can't afford to at the moment.

Charles Bukowski quit his job at the post office to write. He then wrote 10-35 pages a night while drinking, and finished his book "Post Office" in 21 days. But I can't do that. I need the stability of a job in order to write. If I was unemployed and running out of cash I'd be too panicked to write. It's a Catch-22: I can't find the time to write enough, but if I had the time I'd be too worried about finances to write.


Blogger Michael Tompkins said...

I decided to go to grad school to write my book. Decided to move to Indiana from North Carolina to try to get it done while taking classes in a somewhat less-than-challenging grad program. It has given me freedom to read, write and learn on the side. I figured I would never get it done being on either coast near my best friends -- too busy creating more material than time to write it down.

3:36 PM  
Blogger exley said...

Good for you. Very ambitious. I'd love to do something like that, but can't afford to. And everytime I get motivated to write more in my book, life happens. Like John Lennon said, "Life is what happens when you make plans." But life is also what gives me ideas.

5:59 PM  

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