Thursday, September 22, 2016

Really? 50?

I love Goodreads. I love knowing what my friends are reading. I love writing reviews and reading them. I love having a place to put my "want to read" list and if they would make it easy to print in a handy-dandy compact form so I wouldn't get book amnesia the minute I walk into Ed McKay, it would be positively indispensable. No, I'm not getting free books or kickbacks. Heck, they haven't even published one of my poems in their monthly newsletter. Which reminds me==reading the monthly newsletter poem, chosen via slush pile by a guest judge, is another of my favorite things. Goodreads is just something I'm really nerdy about.
My cat eats books faster than I can read them.

What I don't like is the way their annual reading pledge that encourages obsessive people like me to think, "Sure I can read fifty books in 365 days. Who can't?" Yeah, Veronica. Were you thinking of devoting this year to re-reading the Frog and Toad are Friends series, perhaps going for the long haul with the Superfudge books after that? Get cerebral with the Sweet Valley High series? Nothing against any of those books, all of which I adore, I just didn't account for the fact that most books I read are...wordier. So...the main thing I've learned so far is that I am unrealistically ambitious and a far slower reader than I thought. It's even worse when I really like a book. I start getting lengthily distracted every other page, picturing scenes in my head, arguing with myself regarding whether or not I think the protagonist would really do whatever he just did, and/or looking up words in the O.E.D. Not even obscure words, but words that make me wonder if I am absolutely certain I know every nuance of, and words I've only read, not encountered verbally and therefore find myself killing the next fifteen minutes trying to decipher the dictionary's pronunciation key so I don't sound like a dork the next time I try to casually use the word in conversation. Biopic. Is it Bye'-Ah-Pick or Bye-Oh'-Pic?

Violet in action: une gourmande de mots

mOf course, now that I wrote down my fifty book overreach, and better yet, wrote it someplace public, I have to make a concerted effort to accomplish that goal. I honestly doubt I can make it, but it nonetheless has me reading four books at once to try. You can read my previous reviews on Goodreads, and I'll be posting some of them here. Make your own account and friend or follow me on Goodreads, so you too can submit poems to the open call for the coveted monthly newsletter spot and plot an overreaching reading goal for yourself and scramble madly about for the rest of 2017, wondering if travel pamphlets and lost pet flyers can count as books.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Riff Zine's Inaugural Issue

Riff Zine is a new literary magazine with a different theme for every issue. The first? Shakespeare. The fifth? It's the page my poem is on. Check it out!