I like the freedom of being in between books. On Goodreads, you can click a book to the shelf called “Currently Reading,” in which case you feel locked in, like people who own cellphones signing the dotted line are locked in to a contract. Keeping your “Currently Reading” shelf free of everything but dust is liberating, kind of like not owning a cellphone bent on owning me.
A few times I’ve clicked a book to “Currently Reading” and then, a few days later and a few pages in, said, “Uh-oh. I don’t much like this book. Or I’m not in the mood for this book. Or it’s winter and I’m caught with a cheeky summer book in my hand. Or mein gut, can’t this guy write?” That sort of thing.
So you have to deploy the “never mind” button.
This all assumes, like a teenager might, that the Goodreading world hangs on your every click. It does not, but that would be devastating to admit, now wouldn’t it? Once a teenager, always a teenager. Spinoza, I think.
Besides, I see on my interlibrary loan site that a book I requested is “in transit.” I like to think of the joy that brings to a book, that it would be wanted so much it would be snatched like the Lindbergh baby from one library and sent to another where a proud foster parent awaits.
Right now it’s rumbling on some subway looking at other books, forming opinions about their readers, pausing occasionally to wonder about me. Like any book, it will assume the best.
Such a cruel world we live in.