Monday, May 7, 2007

Suffering from Good Book Syndrome


Right now, I am suffering. My heart aches.

I have the worst feeling. The one that means nothing can take me back to that feeling ... that cozy, warm sensation of reading a really good book -- the one I turn to in time of happiness, sadness, tiredness. The one that keeps me up later at night, the one I turn to in the middle of the day instead of writing, instead of cleaning.

I have been suffering from what I call "Good Book Syndrome" for more than a week. It might be closer to two weeks. This is when I search and search for the next Perfect Book. I skim pages and pages of First Pages. I go scowering about the house, asking, "Have you seen (SUCH AND SUCH BOOK)." Shouting, "Well, it has to be here some where." I dig through shelves upon shelves -- moving about from first floor, to second floor, to, finally, the third floor. I check the Waiting-to-be-read piles around my bedside table. Nothing clicks. Nothing sticks.

For a small book club I'm in, we read "Water for Elephants," by Sara Gruen. It was so good that when I was done, I immediately handed it over to The Da! because I knew he would read it in, like a day, and then I'd have someone to talk about it with since book club was a mere two weeks away. I was right ... he was done in no time. The last time I felt this way about a book was "Bel Canto," by Anne Patchett. But he didn't read it. This is the first time we've read a book and then discussed it. More on that in another post.

Since then, since I closed that Great Book with a smile, I haven't been able to latch onto anything else. And, I have tried. Very hard.

I started first with "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time."
Since I do most of my reading before bed, this novel -- as refreshing as it seems -- was too much like a textbook from grade school that I should have read. In fact, it's a great refresher book. I couldn't tolerate all that information being junked up in my head just before trying to get a good night's rest.

So, I tried "The Bean Trees," by Barbara Kingsolver. It's the book's 20th anniversary. I read an article by Kingsolver in GH, so I felt it was time to read this great one of hers. It has been on my shelf for years. I know Turtle. I know Barbara. I'm a big fan. Still, it wasn't working. I had to put it down.

That's when I started "The Orchid Thief," by Susan Orlean.

Still, I can't help feeling a great loss, a little empty inside. Crawling into bed to read, just isn't the same when I'm not in love with tonight' book. It's a lot like, well, you know. I can't write THAT here.

But, unlike the others, I think I will stick with this title ... at least for a while. It is the next best thing. I think. At least it is until my next freelance check arrives and I have a little money to spend at the book store.


nixthings said...

I am SO SO with you on this post.

Momma Bean said...

I know EXACTLY what you mean. I'm in the same predicament, and have piked up "Water For Elephants" before and now am definitely going to purchase for my vacation read next week. Thank you! I've been scouring the Internet for something to read after my new favorite, "The Kite Runner." Like you, as soon as I'm done with a book like that, I want to give it immediately to my best friend to read so that we can discuss it!

Anonymous said...

Try a book called "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" ... I *loved* Water for Elephants, but Snow Flower was just as extraordinary. It kept me up late into the night reading.

Good luck searching! I know the feeling!


maryanne6828 said...

I know exactly what you mean and I'm a librarian. I'm surrounded by books everyday and yet I still can't find something good to read. I think it has something to do with my moods. I've been in this kind of funk lately. That's what I call it - a book funk.

Try, The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. I actually listened to this book and it was wonderful.


Shawn said...

Always great to hear from Mary Anne!!! But, I need another suggestion because I already read History of Love ... yikes!

maryanne6828 said...

Okay, here are a couple "twin" books for you. They are both a little weird, but I liked them.

Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield