Sunday, January 9, 2011

Not Actually Reading

What happens when you mean to write a blog about reading and you’ve stopped reading for a time? I mean, no, that’s not right. I am always reading something. It’s just that I haven’t read an actual book in a while. How did this happen? It’s kind of hard to figure out, but it’s the truth. Just recently I could not keep up with the New Yorkers arriving seemingly every two minutes and now I’m practically racing down to the mailbox every thirty seconds to see when the next one is here.

This is new for us, by the way, this having the mail arrive in our actual house. We have a mailbox in what might be considered our vestibule (if I knew actually what a vestibule was and I only think I do) and every morning our mailman drives up in his little almost-truck with the steering wheel on the wrong side, sits in there for a while, sorting the mail and smoking, and then actually delivers the mail into our vestibular mailbox. We have a little wire thingie at the bottom of our mailbox in which we can leave our letters to be mailed, and he just takes them away! But see, before this, for ten years we’d had to go to the post office to get our mail because where we lived did not have actual mail delivery.

Now where we lived previously, in North Chatham, the post office was just across the street from us in what was once the parlor of what was once Alberta’s house. It was Alberta’s house for a long time and Alberta was the postmaster for a long time too, but now it’s just an emptyish house with a post office inside it. And for a long time I liked having a post office that was inside an actual house, but I have lately discovered that having mail delivered in my own actual house is even better. Even so, this has very little to do with why I haven’t been reading books lately. I want to read books, don’t get me wrong, but I keep forgetting to buy books or take them out of the library and then the evening comes and there is not a single book to read. And all our old books are still packed up in their 60 plus boxes, just in case I was interested in rereading anything, which I might have been, if I had access to them. So then I just read various things online, and somehow hours go by, but really it's just not the same.

Yet sometimes you kind of need a small break like this. You need to get all distracted and even bored and restless and then, when it’s time to come back to books, you will remember why it is that you keep reading them and writing about reading them. As long as books are around, you will always have something to do.