February 11, 2010
Confession: I dither. I dingle. I dabble in and then discard. I have an ongoing disinclination to commit. I’m talking about books. Though I maintain a categorically obsessive list of books slated for reading this year, and even a second-tier categorically obsessive list of books pegged for reading at some point, whenever I finish a book I find myself puttering around in my library, caroming off bookshelves, staring at rows of books in a helpless mire of field dependence*, starting and aborting a few volumes before settling on my next read.
This current round went like this:
How do you find your next book to read? Intuition? Happenstance? A rigorous curriculum? I try a combination of all of those things and just end up befuddled.
Before you go to town on me in the comments, yep, I realize I sound like I should be psycho-analyzed. Through all of this, I feel happy, though. These things bemuse me; I’m not going to slit my wrists over literary indecision or anything.
*Field dependent people tend to stare at things and perceive them globally, as a big ol’ mass of stuff. Thus: they have trouble locating the right brand of crackers on the grocery shelf or, more apropos, individual titles and concepts of books. Its inverse is field independence. If the dependent version sounds a weakness of character, well, watch out, I’m about to go all feminist for a moment. Women tend to be field dependent, men, independent. The concept was identified and named by a man.