Maybe Not a Good Idea…

The next couple of weeks are going to be very busy for me at work, much like the last couple.  One good thing about that is I have a long weekend right at the beginning of November.  That means I can start NaNo with lots of time to work, and maybe get a decent chunk of Mara’s Tale written.

All of that said, I just did something kind of dumb.  I requested the next book in the Wheel of Time series from the library.

My library makes it really convenient to request books.  There are several branches, but they all share the same online catalog.  Put a hold on a book, and as soon as it is available they ship it to the branch of your choice.  That means all I have to do is log on to my library account (my card number is taped to my computer for this very reason) and click “place a hold” on the listing.  Then I show up at the closest branch and grab my book.  It’s very simple, and in this case, kind of stupid.

Yes, I’ve said twice that requesting a book was a poor decision.  Are you questioning this statement?  There is no way I’ll get it done by November 1, and once November hits NaNo becomes a somewhat more pressing demand on my time.  In addition, I typically avoid reading fiction while writing, so even if I do have time to read occasionally during NaNo I should probably stick to non-fiction.

Even writing all of this, I haven’t talked myself out of the hold request.  You never know, I could make it through 700 or so pages in two weeks.  🙂

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Why everyone should have a collection of short stories

Everyone should have at least one collection of short stories in their personal library.  It should be a collection that you like, that you can read over and over.  (I have five.)  The reason for this is best illustrated by an experience I had today.

Before I begin my tale, let me first explain that I do not like being without reading material.  When I finish something, I start something else.  Even if I don’t open the reading material for a day or two, I don’t feel complete unless I am “reading” something.  Now, to the story.

I am reading Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series again from the beginning.  (I haven’t read the three concluding books yet, but I decided I would enjoy them better if I worked my way there.)  I do not currently own any of the series, so I’ve been requesting them from my local library.

When I get to about 100 pages left, I put a hold on the next book in line.  This time, when I was nearly done with book two, someone already had book three checked out, so it took a bit longer.  Fortunately, I had two months worth of National Geographic waiting for me.  I switched right over to those when I finished The Great Hunt.

Last night I read the last article of this month’s NG.  This morning I had the realization that I was without reading material, and at one of those “reading required” moments in my day.  These moments, when I am mid-series and yet without material, are when I reach for one of the well-worn short story collections on my shelf.

Here is the beauty of a book of short stories: they give you something to read without requiring a great deal of commitment.  You can read one story to get you through until the next trip to the library, or you can read several stories to get a fiction fix in the middle of a long stretch of non-fiction.

The end of my tale is quite fun, too, although not entirely related to the point I’m trying to make.  I was not without reading material for long, because I got both my notification from the library and next month’s National Geographic today!