A couple weeks ago I got an e-mail notification from my library that it was my turn to take home Zealot: The Life And Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan for a two week period. I had put this book on hold one or two months before, right after I had finished another book. At that time, I was really excited about this book. Many people had come in asking for it at work and I had been thoroughly impressed by Aslan’s interview on Fox News. As I do any time I go to the library, I hesitated putting the hold on it because I knew the book was extremely popular and it would take a while for my name to come up. I’d probably be in the middle of some other book when it did.
So I get this email and, of course, it comes when I am already emotionally invested in something else. In this case, not just one other book but three other books. Two weeks ago I was in the middle of The Mallet of Loving Correction by John Scalzi and an ARC copy of The Geek’s Guide to Dating by Eric Smith. I also have a bookmark about 3/4 through Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and The Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright. Sounds like I really didn’t need that fourth book, right? Especially not a fourth non-fiction book and the second book I’d be starting about religion. Logic be damned, I picked it up anyway.
I really did try to read it! Well, I read the first few pages, mostly while also trying to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation with my boyfriend. I did finish The Geek’s Guide To Dating before I started Zealot, because I was reading that one for work and wanted to return it as soon as possible. For whatever reason, I then got totally distracted by The Mallet of Loving Correction and never made it past the first few pages of Zealot. In all honesty, a collection of blog posts was more what my attention span could handle at the time rather than a whole new non-fiction book. Before I knew it, two weeks had passed and I received another email notification that I needed to return the book. Boo. I did take it back to the library but there were 7 other people who want to read this book behind me and only a couple copies, so I wasn’t able to renew. The library is ordering more copies.
I am by no means blaming the library for the fact that I had to return this book unread. If it were an older title or less popular my library lets me renew books up to five times. That would surely give me enough time to finish a book that, according to GoodReads, is just over 300 pages long. Nor am I blaming the people who also put a hold on this book, I’m glad this book is popular and I would still like to read it, which is why I put myself back on the list. It was just a case of the wrong book at the wrong time. It was a weird time where I seemed to be selecting books to read and not finishing any of them, which I am just starting to work my way out of. I used to be a one book at a time, completist reader. In the past few years, I’ve realized that if I’m not into something I’m reading, I should pick up something else. I doesn’t always mean that I completely abandon the first book. Often it means that I will have a stack of books beside my bed, hence the name of my blog. My library also allows you to check out 50 items at a time. I always thought, “Who can read even 5 books in 2 weeks?” My boyfriend tends to bring home a stack of books when we go to the library, pick through them, and then land on one to finish. I always bring home one or two, whatever I think I can finish in two weeks. On occasion though, my currently reading pile gets a little out of wack. When this occurs, a perfectly good book can fall victim to it. Oh well, maybe I’ll be less busy on the next go around.