When I was younger, I would tear through a book in a matter of hours. I would demolish a stack of library books in the span of a few afternoons. My favorite time of year was grade school summer vacation, during which time I would banish myself to the screened porch; hunched on the sweaty patio furniture, I would gulp glass after glass of my mother’s weak iced tea and slip into the pages of Stephen King, John Saul, Anne Rice, HP Lovecraft, Dean Koontz (I didn’t really discriminate at that age). I thoroughly immersed myself in these lurid, awful tales of monsters and madmen and supernatural goings-on and oftentimes would spend upwards of 8 hours out in the heat, completely lost to the world.
Unfortunately as I’ve gotten older, I am much more easily distracted (or is it that there are more things to become distracted by? Hm.) and it takes me much longer to read through a horrid novel. Where I once left the library with no less than a dozen books, I now exit the building with with two or three of them lumped uneasily at the bottom of a mostly empty tote bag -I fear they know as well as I that any more than one book at a time now is wishful thinking.
The past few years had been especially bad for this; with upheaval comes a distinct lack of focus, and I am sure that I grew weary of or bored with 50% of the books I’d attempted reading. This year I was determined to begin making up for lost time. It is almost August now, and I am fairly certain that I have read more in 2014 than I have in the last ten years.
Doctor Sleep | The Ocean At The End Of The Lane | American Vampire, Volume 1 | Garlic and Sapphires | Pretty Little Liars 1 (don’t judge me!) | Comfort Me With Apples | Tender At The Bone | Pretty Little Liars 2: Flawless | The Shining Girls
Angelica | Heart Shaped Box | White Is For Witching | The Imago Sequence and Other Stories | The Asylum | American Vampire, Vol. 2
NOS4A2 | Boneshaker | The Goldfinch
Red Shirts | Wild Fell
The Unseen | The Ghostwriter
The Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All | Horns | The Tenant | The Small Hand | Sex Criminals Volume 1 | Morning Glories Volume 1
Carrion Comfort | Morning Glories Volume 2-7
The standouts for me so far have been The Goldfinch, Horns, and Sex Criminals, but more than that I have just enjoyed the magic of burying myself in a book again, of being breathlessly caught up in someone else’s story, and yes – even the tinge of regret and disappointment once the tale has been told and the last page has been turned.
Next on the reading list: Penpal by Dathan Auerbach and The Anxiety of Kalix the Werewolf by Martin Millar. And I am very much looking forward to The Children of the Old Leech (a Laird Barron tribute!), Burnt Black Suns, and The Lord Came At Twilight.
What is stacked on your bedside table for an evening read? What stories are you most looking forward to immersing yourself in? Do tell! There’s so many empty shelves that need filling in my Library of Probable Books…