overwhelmed by choice

After a long drought, I’m back reading again. It was odd: I read like a fiend this summer, scanning and reading and paging through dozens of books to preview them for our Manitoba unit. Literature, history, geography; textbooks, short stories, primary documentation, novels. Then September hit and I curled up with Wool. Wool is a gripping sci-fi which constantly upset my expectations and filled me with a looming dread for people I’d come to care about. You’d think I would have finished it in the blink of an eye.

But something happened. I stopped reading. I couldn’t read Wool before bed, because there’d be no bed. I wouldn’t read it during the day since I needed to focus on getting things right for a new year of homeschooling. So I read The Chamber of Secrets in German at night, and otherwise stopped reading. Partly fatigue, partly a silly fear that Wool would break my heart with authorly cruelty.


::Rainer reading in Toronto::

We went on this Toronto vacation and time opened up. I finished Wool and then gobbled up His Majesty’s Dragon in two days. (Napoleonic War, the Navy, dragons!) It was one of about 10 books we bought in Toronto at the best bookstore I’ve ever been to: Bakka Phoenix. This is a store devoted entirely to sci-fi and fantasy.  We go every time we visit Toronto. They know their stuff and have a contagious passion. The ability of the woman who works there, Chris I think is her name, to give a 90 second description of a book that tells you everything you need to know while spoiling nothing is astonishing. I think it is her ability to give you a sense of the setting and what is at stake. Not the plot. What’s at stake. What can be lost or gained.  You are instantly invested in the book.

And then we returned home and I had no idea what to read. Most of the books we had bought are especially for Sandra, and she gets first dibs. Some of them are especially for Rainer. And many of the books we have at home for me to read are a little too far on the side of ‘good for me’ rather than ‘rollicking good reads’. Still, I was spoiled by choice. There are non-fiction books like Something Fierce and The Tiger and a whole stack of books about First Nations women in the prairies. There are fiction books like “Bring Up the Bodies” and the Robert Ludlum spy novels I borrowed from Dad.

And more.

I could hardly start reading again. Luckily I was saved by simply picking the book nearest to hand when going to bed last night. The Name of the Wind it is. Technically, it’s for Rainer, but he’s reading The Rook after he finishes Wool, so he was willing to share.


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