Thursday Night Ramblings: Not finding time! Or wasting so much time! And not enough reading and writing! And much hand-wringing!

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Of all the things that stress me out, not being “productive” will send me into a tail spin. I drive myself crazy over not getting enough done in a day and having that nagging feeling that I did not accomplish anything. And no, I am not talking about work, but about my bloody personal life. I did not read X number of hours today, I am not getting through the TBR pile, I cannot get started on my Australian literature reading project, I am drifting away from my beloved Swedes, I am three books behind with blog posts. I have also given myself the additional challenge of reviewing books on Net Galley which means I have to keep track of books requested, publication/review dates and the occasional interaction with author or publisher staff.

Ok, I need to take a deep breath right? Yeah…

So here I am, sitting at my desk, drinking my organic decaf green tea and just trying to pound the keyboard and form sentences to get me going. I do have to thank Marina Sofia for a bit of inspiration.

I think I know an additional culprit for this latest bout of angst: I am stuck in a book, deeply mired in its slow-moving plot, unable to admit defeat in the face of gluey prose and strangely stilted dialogue, and while I can occasionally get carried away by its premise and the similarity to many other fascinating novels where a group of people are going across their known world on a wild quest, it is mostly a painfully slow read because I have to really work at it. And of course, if I try to read anything else (as relief), I feel terribly guilty… A thousand apologies to Kazuo Ishiguro but I cannot love The Buried Giant. I am similarly bogged down in Siri Hustvedt’s The Blazing World.

Here are the books I am working through from my Net Galley bookshelf:

  • Katherine Reay, The Brontë Plot
  • Paul Brown et al, The Fear-Free Organization (nonfiction)
  • Joseph Fiksel, Resilient by Design (nonfiction)
  • Roger Daniels, Franklin D. Roosevelt (nonfiction)
  • A. Higgins, Lightless (done reading, review to be published on August 25)

From my own library:

  • Milan Kundera, L’art du roman
  • One book on current trends in workplace learning
  • One book on talent management

And I have one book on talent management and another one on change management that I read but still need to review and integrate in the annotated bibliographies in the “Read for Work” section. I have recently changed roles at work, which always spurs me to increase my work-related reading. It helps me to think and put the new things I am learning by doing in context.

It is getting late and I should get away from the evil light-emitting, sleep-pattern jarring screen of my laptop computer and focus on relaxing so I can have a good night sleep… and not dream of gigantic piles of books toppling over my bed or characters violently slipping out from between the covers to chase me around the room, slashing the air with whips of string cheese…

Good night everyone.

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3 responses »

  1. Give yourself a break – three books behind isn’t bad at all. I’m 15 behind right now! Like you I am constantly feeling I’m in catch up mode. But then I remember that this is meant to be pleasure. So I do give up on books I am simply not enjoying. I was keen to read Ishiguro when I first heard he had a new one coming out but then the more I head about it the less interested I became. You’ve confirmed that I should put my precious reading time to something else.

  2. Awww, poor Sylvie – that’s a feeling I can relate to all too well! (I had some nightmares last night about not being able to write the article which is due today because the children – who are on holiday- had fed my papers to the cat…) My guilt about Netgalley and how many reviews I am behind knows no bounds…
    All we can do is struggle on, one book, one review, one day at a time. Wishing you the very best of strength and courage!

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