Saturday, January 02, 2010

New Year's 2010

My long holiday vacation is nearly over, and while we missed all the snow that was dumped elsewhere, the cold air has settled in for awhile. Once I got over the flurry of house cleaning early in the week, I made a trip to the library. After not reading much of anything for a couple of months, I read two novels quickly back-to-back: first, Rebecca Stott's literary mystery, Ghostwalk, and then Per Petterson's To Siberia. I really loved his previous novel, Out Stealing Horses. They were both good without being great, but it was a good way to kick-start my reading life in the New Year.

Now, I would have thought that I would read even more as I got older, but compared to the voraciousness of my younger self, the number of books has steadily dropped off, year-to-year. Of course, I no longer work in a bookstore, and I'm also much more restless and unfocused, as if I were aging backwards (though not physically, unfortunately). So this is what it's like to be an adolescent!

The other thing I've come to realize -- and reading these two perfectly satisfactory novels emphasized it -- is that I no longer take much pleasure in reading merely satisfactory books. At first it was just that I couldn't and wouldn't read bad writing or sloppy writing (which automatically disqualifies most, not all, popular fiction), and now my persnicketiness has ratcheted up to the point that I don't even want to read merely "pretty good" books. This sounds ridiculously snobby, but I prefer crankily discriminating. So, rather than bounce around from one thing to another that I don't really care about, I'm going to be very picky this year. Along with the ever-present five or ten pounds one is always trying to lose, I guess that's my resolution.

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