Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen

Problems With Reading

The obvious problem with reading is getting to do enough of it. So many books etc. etc. I got mostly hardbounds for my birthday, which means fewer books added to the stack per dollar. This is most likely a good thing, considering the state of the stack. And the fact that the stack is actually six stacks right now (two spec fic, one mainstream fic, one nonfic, one library, one borrowed-mostly-from-Stella). Boooooooks. Such good books.

The other problem I'm having is that once I've read something, I can't unread it.

I can never read Cetaganda for the first time again. Nor Blood Child. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat may delight me but will not surprise me. I can read A Scholar of Magics for the first time soon, but that will be the only first time I get with it.

I can never live in ignorance if someone else is doing a bad version of a story I wanted to do, once I've read that bad version. I can try to work around it, but I can't claim I didn't know. That's a good thing in general: better to know than to be accidentally derivative. But still.

Aaaaand...I can never experience Trollope without cannibal dragons in my head, now that I've read Tooth and Claw. When I pick one up from the library, I will sit there and think, "Eat him! He stinks, eat him eat him eat him! Oh, I hope she gets eaten. I hope she gets eaten soon, and by the heroine, too."

Also, once I read some article of nonfiction, I don't get to internally pretend I don't have that information. I made the mistake of reading an article about common things women do when they're around males of reasonable attractiveness to them. Now I am hyperconscious of the list, because I expected not to do any of it, and I find that I do all of it, not deliberately but subconsciously or now-nearly-subconsciously, unless I deliberately say to myself, "Take your hand away from your hair. Stop touching your hair! Don't lean forward like that. Don't! That's what they say you do, don't do it. Ack! You're making more gestures near your chest than usual! Stop it! Do not fiddle with the necklace. I don't care how nifty a necklace it is, stop fiddling!" (I tell people I am not a subtle person. But I do hate it when articles about What Women Do read like checklists of things I didn't know I was doing until I read the damned article.) (This is not a constant soundtrack in my head. It just pops up from time to time, unpredictably, because I read that stupid article.)

Further, I can't just go on behaving as though a political candidate is deeply nifty when his/her nift has been modified by something I read. And almost no candidates (almost) are deeply nifty. Some are just moderately nifty. Some lack nift entirely but are the only remaining choice under the circumstances. I can't un-know that.

It's worth it. It is. I love reading anyway. But sometimes I'd like a selective un-read function.

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