Thursday, January 28, 2016
Ruining My Reading
Writing a book is ruining the way I read books. My friend Nancy pointed out that this is likely due to me writing my own book and learning how the sausage is made, so to speak. No matter how pretty the package is or how spicy the flavor, I've been there, twisting inside the cold metal spires of the grinder, emerging a bloody cocoon. And though I still feel that there is merit in reading something, even if I don't enjoy it or even if it downright aggravates me, I'm noticing that I have less and less patience for seeing where a story is going. It gets to feeling like I've read that book before, even though I haven't. It definitely feels like everything's been done before.
I used to treat the novels I chose to read like marriages: I took vows to finish and pay attention, for better or worse, to see it all through disagreements and periods of neglect, all the way to the end. Then I realized that I'm turning 40 soon and time keeps creeping through the neighborhood. As I sit in my room tonight and type this, I can see, without exaggeration, five piles of books on my floor, about 15 high each, not including the library books I have checked out or the e-books that are on my various devices. Ain't nobody got time for that. Still, I should probably be a bit more understanding about familiar tropes and debut novels. We can't all morph as seamlessly as David Bowie, after all.
Apropos of nothing in particular, I just checked the word of the day today on Merriam Webster and it is this:
: a prolonged lamentation or complaint; also : a cautionary or angry harangue
And I realized that people with the name Jeremiah have names with roots that mean complaint. What does your name mean? It means complaint. Isn't that horrible? I mean why would my parents name me that? I really just feel it is unfair of them....etc, etc until it all implodes into a vortex of meta.
Then I started thinking about similar names with strange roots and/or alternate meanings and how they became names and I think I came up with a good roster of things to name my children despite knowing their origins and/or alternate meaning.
That last one is the actual name of an actual child that was a library patron at one of my friend's libraries. Someone named their child Suxxcexx. I don't have a closing thought here.