In Which Ella Reads Six Books at Once

I was cleaning my room this morning when I realized that I am in the middle of a lot of books right now. A lot of books.

No matter how much time I spend lint-rolling my bed, I never seem to be able to get rid of all of the fur. There's always at least one cat sleeping on it and shedding up a storm.

It may seem like it would be crazy and confusing to read so much at once, but it really isn’t. It’s fun! Whenever I get bored of one, I just pick up the next. Besides, certain books just suit different feelings.

Spud, a book about a South African guy at boarding school, is great for post-cry readings because it’s hilarious. Laughing while having post-sob shudders is a very funny feeling, and the best way to return from being down and out. (And yes, I do know that this book is not geared towards nearly 18-year-old girls.)

I usually read Lorrie Morre’s Self-Help when I’m supposed to be doing something else. It’s a book of short stories, so it’s perfect for crouching on the floor and feeling guilty about ignoring chores and homework. Procrastination at its finest in twenty-minutes or less.

Dog Stories is my go to book when I can’t sleep. It’s happy, light, and about dogs (Way to state the obvious, Ella.). Nothing goes wrong that can’t be fixed, and each story is less than ten pages. At the rate I’m going at, it’ll take me ages to finish, but I don’t mind. It’s like training wheels–there when I need help from falling over into nighttime paranoia.

I like to read Oil! in the afternoons, but only when it’s sunny and preferably while drinking juice. I’m no socialist, but the Sinclair’s matter-of-fact style is alluring and comfortable. It’s like reading a novel-length newspaper article, and gosh darn it do I love the newspaper.

No Plot? No Problem! is about to become my Bible. I’ve read it through twice, and with Senior Option only three-weeks away, I’m sure to reread again. 50,000 words in 30 days seems doable enough, but I’m still moving forward with trepidation. If it’s anything like Chris Baty says, it’ll probably turn turn out to be one of those things that makes me enormously happy while immensely stressing me out. If I can just learn to put doubt and self-criticism on the back burner for a month, I should be okay. Besides, if I can write here and do three pages of creative writing a week, I can totally do 1,666.67 words a day.

Salt is one of those books that I purchase and say that I’m going to read, but never do. It hangs out on my bedside table, staring at me and saying, You just purchased me to look impressive, didn’t you? I’m way beyond your level of comprehension. You’re not good enough for history books like me! I’m pretty good at laughing back and reminding it of the 1,000 plus page book I read on Kennedy’s assassination and why conspiracy theories are the stupidest thing ever. I swear, one of these days, I’m going to get beyond the first three pages. It’s just not going to be tonight, or tomorrow, and probably not next week, either.

Of course, I’m not counting my forays into poetry. Those extra snippets out of my Victorian Poetry book for class totally don’t count. Neither does reading Emily Dickinson’s poems online. They’re just too impulsive and sneaky to be added to the record.

And while I very much want to crack open Azar Nafisi’s memoir, Things I’ve Been Silent About, I can’t. I really, really, really can’t. Because, you know, seven would just be pushing it.