a comforting sight

One of my new favorite daily reads is Diana Higgins’ blog Diaphanous. A few days ago, she posted a photo of her to-be-read-stack, and I liked the way it looked, so here’s mine.This little bookshelf is next to my bed. What you can’t see from the picture is that the books in the shelves are stacked two deep. I’ve been trading a lot of books lately on bookmooch and bookins, and I’m developing quite a backlog.

These books are the first thing I see every morning when I wake up, and the last thing before I turn out the light. It calms me, to know that I have a lot to choose from. At any given moment, I’m working on a couple of different books. Right now, it’s E.H. Gombrich’s A Little History of the World, Mike Davis’s City of Quartz, Jane Smiley’s 13 Ways of Looking at a Novel (okay, I’ve been reading this on and off for over a year), and Dorothy Allison’s collection of short stories, Trash. I can only take the Allison book in very short doses, because it’s so incredibly upsetting, although sooooo good. I might finish it by the time I’m forty.

I tend to read a couple of different non-fiction books at a time, but to read fiction serially. Mostly, that’s because I’m a slow reader of non-fiction, while I plow through most fiction. I have a terrible habit of starting non-fiction books and then taking a year to finish them–the Smiley book is not an accident. Unfortunately, it means it will be quite a while before this stack gets much smaller. It’s good news for my reading life, though.


January 24, 2007. books for grown-ups. 10 comments.