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Odd Words December 29, 2011

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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Its that Odd, hollow week between Christmas and New Years, the week I always burned up that unused use-it-or-lost-it vacation. It is a time when I used to devour my holiday present book and take things slow.

I am not alone in this week of idleness. There is nothing going on in the bookstores. 17 Poets! is off for the holidays and Maple Leaf Poetry Reading is an open mic at 3:00. Check the website of other readings, like SpokenWordNewOrleans.com or the Readers Block Facebook page to see if anything is going on.

It is probably a good week for you to devour that holiday book if you haven’t already. If you have, my plans for today include making a pile of all the unread books I’ve bought over the last year, by size to ensure its stability I’ve bought quite a few because the things I want to read aren’t usually in the New Orleans Public Library. An anthology of poems I wanted to read is still “in cataloging” after two years.

I know from reading the literary corners of the Internet that I am not alone in this compulsion. I am tempted to go back through my stack of Believer magazine and catalog Nick Horby’s Stuff I’ve Been Reading, which includes lists of Books Bought and Books Read and see how big his pile is.

The Leaning Tower of Procrastination

I know a trip to Barnes & Noble is on tap for this week because my son is staying with me, and he has a gift card. (I know, I know). He’s more likely to find something to his taste in their stacks, and my challenge will be to escape without buying another book. I need to make the pile first to remind me why I should not.

What I really want is a good book of short stories and there isn’t one in that entire pile (at least I don’t think so. I’ll know when I make my little Tower of Babel. I’m tempted to pull out some Barry Hannah or Haruki Murakami, to escape into the Odd. Instead, once I finish making notes on Hart Crane’s The Bridge (a classic, so I did find that at the library) it’s time to to make and tackle the unread stack. Or find a book of short stories at Barnes & Noble and succumb to temptation.

Soon I will either find a job or I will go back to school to finish the bachelors I abandoned 30 years ago, and either way I will lose the free time I have now to read. If you are one of those people who have an unused week of vacation you are using up this week, dig into that pile of unread books or re-read your favorites.

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