I’d had it with myself. I spent Sunday whimpering in the heat of the un-air-conditioned store with temperatures over 90. It was hot, hot, hot, so of course I was cranky. (I’m the person who keeps her thermostat at 57 on winter nights.) But compounding my irritation was the sense that everywhere I looked, there were books I wanted to read but haven’t had the time to yet.
You know those days, when every other person you see asks you about a book you have waiting in your to-read pile? Sometimes the pressure feels overwhelming. (I think all the sweating must not have been helping.)
But after I’d finished my shift, after I’d had a scoop of ice cream in an air-conditioned neighborhood spot, and after I cooled down enough to get some perspective, I realized that I had to stop whining. Maybe not about the heat– I think I was entitled to whine about that until my bedroom cooled below 86– but I definitely had to stop whining about my to-read pile.
“Woe is me, I’m so tempted by amazing books that I can’t get through my piles of them; take pity on my sad self” just doesn’t cut the mustard.
I have to remember that being surrounded by books I can’t wait to read is one of my favorite things about being in a bookstore. This is why I can’t pass a bookstore without going in, and why I can’t leave a bookstore without buying something. I am incredibly lucky to live a life filled with books. It’s a dream come true.
Contrary to popular belief, booksellers do not get paid to read books, but we are constantly inspired to read. Hearing other readers’ favorites, being prompted to give opinions, and yes, having access to so many fine tomes, whether they’re free advance copies or staff-discounted ones I happily spend my paycheck on, means that I am more motivated to carve time out every day to read.
So this weekend I resolved to stop whining and start winning again by grabbing a book off the top of one of my many piles. Despite looming deadlines and a mile-long to-do list, I treated myself to some pages on the couch, in front of the fan. I decided to make it a priority. What better way to beat the heat? It was just the thing to stop my grumbling and exercise my gratitude.
How do you make the time to read? What’s next on your to-read list?
Tegan Tigani wears many hats as the children’s book buyer for Queen Anne Book Company in Seattle, the editor of nwbooklovers.org, a freelance editor, the children’s book editor-at-large for Sasquatch, a certified book hoarder, and more.