You can check out anytime you like, but you can never read

Welcome to the jinxed hotel reality of a library employee. We haven't had that free time here since 1969. I love books, but two jobs makes reading time hard to find. Many Saturdays I'm a book review reader. It's fun and I get paid. Cool, huh?


Enthusiasm for books and overestimating reading time are occupational hazards. Checking out, loading up the book bag, and toting it to the car counts as an upper body workout. Checking out improves the library's circulation statistics, too.

In the library neighborhood I am as likely to run into Don Henley at the nearby Whole Foods as to eat lunch wearing pearls at the Bush Center CafĂ© 43. I park my Buick with its still-broken taillight in front of a mansion, and take a sack lunch.

Two jobs leads to Weekend Deficit Disorder, which is part psychological and part physical. The physical part is the level of clutter and backlog.  Mentally, there's a shortage of chill-out-and-read downtime, and way too little rejuvenating creative time. Sunday is my day to connect with family, friends, nature, and to Skype with Mr. Short Stack.

What did I manage to read this week?

  • The chapter called "Recognizing almost psychopathic traits in children," in Ronald Schouten's Almost a Psychopath.
  • Summer Birds : The Butterflies of Maria Merian, a gorgeous picture book about an early female naturalist/artist.   You might have seen the Google doodle on Maria Merian's birthday April second.
  • Dinosaurs Roar, Butterflies Soar, a way cool picture book by Bob Barner, where I learned dinosaurs predate flowering plants.
  • Sunday 4/28/13 New York Times op-ed "Diagnosing the Wrong Disorder", bVatsal G. Thakkar,  linking ADHD with sleep disorders in adults and children. I've read it several times, and it keeps hitting the nail right on the head..
  • The bottom line on my bank account.
  • Page after page of family medical history forms and required disclosures before my annual check-up.
  • The notice posted in the mail kiosk about a registered sex offender moving into our condo complex.
  • The Walmart online customer survey which is way less aggravating than ...
  • Dallas Morning News items about John Wiley Price or a morning without coffee ...
  • Directions for using my new coffee grinder*
  • Water use restrictions and West Nile virus mosquito updates.
And so my stack of books is mostly untouched.  AGAIN.

* Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

© 2013 Nancy L. Ruder

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