When I had to take everything off the bookshelves in our family room, at first I thought, "Drat! Where am I going to put all those books and collectibles?" Then, the light went on, and I realized, "Wow, now I can put the books in order and sort through the treasures."
So, I did the latter and wound up thrilled with the neat and organized shelves. While I did that work, I culled through the books and donated ones that had been read at least once and no longer felt any need for another reading. Then I pulled books I no longer had any desire to read. The results of those two cullings were donated and the rest put back on the shelves. As I did all of this I made the decision to read from our own library as well as reading books borrowed from the library or current books recently purchased. The idea is to read one book from each letter of the alphabet - A to Z - and then start over.
I've probably written about this in an earlier entry, but enter it again as background for my current reading dilemma. That is too strong a word, but honestly, it is an issue. I was brought in a family of readers, was read to every day, and learned how to read with no problems (yes, I was one of the lucky ones). A day doesn't go by without reading. In addition to that, I have always had a good memory (are you already getting the gist of this entry?) for book titles, authors, and plots.
I've had to admit that the plots of books are no longer crystal clear and that authors names no longer spring to my lips as they used to. But when I got to the "K's" in the alphabet, I chose to read Barbara Kingsolver's Bean Trees even though I was sure I had read it when it was first published in paperback (in the late 1980's). Since rereading a good book has always been a pleasure, I didn't worry about that.
What bothered me was that after reading 25 - 50 pages, I knew for sure that I had never read that book before. No problem, I was enjoying this realistic fiction novel, and read on until the end. Minor blip on the screen of irritation.
So then I went on to the "L's", chose a fantasy, and began reading. Hm, now this one seemed very familiar, but familiar as though I was looking through a series of mirrors at distorted images. Finally, after some searching, I discovered that the novel I'm reading is the first in a series of which I read the third several years ago for the YA course I used to take every year.
No big deal, right? But when you add that to the Kingsolver "issue" last week? What's the one fear all of us of a certain age have? That failing memory nightmare.
Well, I am here to tell you that I've gotten over that concern. Sure I may wind up with mashed peas for brains, but I've got to - we all have to - stop worrying about something over which we have very little control.
All this long entry is a reminder that we need to simply enjoy life every single day for as long as we can! I promise to keep on working on that; will you?