I’m an overthinker. Many times I am overthinking so much that I end up doing nothing, which leads to ultimate unproductivity. This problem can also apply to my choosing the next book to read. THERE ARE SO MANY AMAZING BOOKS. How on earth can I choose ONE? I want to read 100 books in one day and even then I wouldn’t come close checking off all the books on my TBR (to be read) list. I know what I have on my shelves, or the library books I have in my basket that sits next to the fireplace bulging from the maxed amount of checked out books. I know which book I REALLY want to read, but then think maybe I should read something else. A different genre perhaps. I’ve already read 4 WWII books in a row, so maybe I should pick a light romance? My soul is wanting to continue reading my WWII books though. Elie Weisel’s, “Night” is starring at me. “Life in a Jar” by Jack Mayer is calling my name.
So why do I feel like I have to take an emotional break from these heavy stories? I guess I don’t HAVE to, but subconsciously I think my mind is telling me to. So I move over to my lighter fiction books. I still haven’t read “One Day in December,” by Josie Silver, but we’re in February so I feel a little “out of the mood,” even though I really want to read it. Will I truly make myself wait 10 more months to read it? Am I THAT stubborn?? I look at “Garden Spell,” by Sarah Addison Allen. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this book, however, I didn’t enjoy “The Sugar Queen,” so I’m a little nervous to invest time into another book by this author. But what if I’m missing something fantastic by NOT reading it?? Everyone deserves a second chance, right? By the way, I’m still eyeing “Night.” It’s actually quite a short book, I could probably finish it in a day and THEN take a genre break. No, I’m GOING to find something different. Maybe a thriller! I hold “The Silent Patient,” by Alex Michaelides in my hands and feel how excited I am to read this book. I’ve been looking forward to it for a while. Oh! I just remembered I have “No Exit,” by Taylor Adams! Who doesn’t want to be scared out of their mind trapped in a blizzard with a couple of strangers and learning that one of them is a psychopath!??
These books are must reads, buuuuut “Life in a Jar” will really impact me in a way that a fictional book will not. Let me look at my Book of the Month books. After all- I AM subscribing to this for a reason, to step out of my comfort zone- (which is basically WWII). I am very excited to read “The Maid,” by Stephanie Land- I love memoirs! Or what about “The Hearts Invisible Furies,” by John Boyne? It’s been awhile since I’ve read a romance- and the fact that it starts in Ireland (which is seriously the only thing on my bucket list) is a huge bonus. How about “We were the Lucky Ones,” by Georgia Hunter? Oh wait, I’m back to WWII. Ok ok, I’m really going to pick now.
<The Next Day>
I’m still going back and forth scanning my bookshelves even tho I know every spine by heart. I know! I’ll find one on my reading challenge! As I continue to struggle, I find myself reading the first page of 10 different books seeing which one “speaks to me.” I put them down wanting to read none of them yet all of them at the same time. So conflicting! I stare at my shelves again, hoping to see a glow around THE book, but there is no glow, no sign. I close my eyes envisioning myself reading. What book am I holding? And then it’s clear. I’ve found it. I’ve found the book I want to read next. It’s been right here all along and I can feel the cover burning in my hand. I have made my final selection.
If you’re thinking, “Whoa- you are putting way too much thought into this- just pick a book,” you would be correct. I know this about myself and yet every time I go to pick the next book, my overthinking self takes control and makes me question my life choices before finding the next book! As much as it may seem stressful or that I’m complaining, I have to admit I secretly like this whole ritual. I think I relish in the idea that this one choice, this critical choice is like opening the door to a magical land. I know I will be transported somewhere and become part of that world. So which world do I want to visit? Which magical landscape do I want to embark on? Which emotions will be exercised? What will I learn about myself through this journey? Reading is a gift, and each book is a present that I can’t wait to open, and like a child, I want to open them all up at once!