Choose Your Own

I’m reading prose again, which is nice. After an impressive January — a prose book a week! I felt very accomplished! — my prose reading trailed off again as evening exhaustion and the demands of a job that requires a lot of comic reading took ahold once again. It wasn’t quite as overwhelming as the past couple of years when my prose reading fell through the floor, but it wasn’t something that I felt particularly proud of, either. After all, as the song goes: here’s more to life than books, you know, but not much more.

(I feel bad for quoting the Smiths, but it’s a fun line, dammit.)

I fell out of the habit of prose reading, I realize, because of COVID and lockdown; it closed the libraries for anything other than pre-scheduled pick-ups of online orders that took weeks, if not months, to arrive, and eventually I just gave up in response. Not only wasn’t I really into the idea of planning out my reading habits so far in advance, the lack of in-library browsing made it difficult for me to know what I’d want to be reading anyway. This is another reason why I love bookstore browsing, which I’m pretty sure I’ve written about before.

Libraries are open again now, thankfully, and with it the ability to browse new releases and see what’s worth reading again. Of course, the book I flew through this weekend — reading the whole thing in one day, practically — wasn’t a browsed discovery, but something I’ve been looking forward to since learning about it: Blood Sweat & Chrome: The Wild and True Story of Mad Max: Fury Road. It’s not that Fury Road is even one of my favorite movies as much as it’s one with a ridiculous behind-the-scenes story, and I’m a sucker for a well-done oral history of anything interesting. No wonder I finished it so quickly.

Flushed with this success, I find myself excited to keep going: what else can I read, where am I going to go next? I’m only a couple of library visits away from my next great adventure.

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