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If you peer over at my currently reading sidebar, you’ll see that I’ve got 5 books on the go.  This is an unusual number for me, but two are for class, one is an audiobook, one is for my book group, and finally, one is just because.

Despite being unused to reading this many at once, I’m not having trouble juggling them.  What I am having trouble with is that 3 of them are books of short stories.

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men by David Foster Wallace is a book I’m reading for my book group.  I’m about halfway through it, and have very mixed feelings about it.

You ever hear your friends talking about this amazing person they know, who is soooo funny and witty that you’re sure you’ll hate them?  In fact, you’re determined to hate them.  But then you meet them, and they’re funny and witty and downright likeable.  That’s this book.  I’ve encountered so many Wallace “fanboys” that I was determined to dislike his work.  But, despite being almost taxing to read, it’s quite brilliant.  And I feel annoying.

Roald Dahl’s Going Solo is the book that I’m reading “just because.”  I read Boy, set just before this one, for my ravelry book group last month, and enjoyed it.  The stories were a nice change of pace from my normal reading, and I found myself quite relaxed when I picked up his book.  Consequently, I picked up the next one at the library.  I’ve only read the first two stories, but so far I’m actually liking it more than Boy.  I was holding my breath by the end of the second story (about a black mamba).

Finally, Dubliners by James Joyce.  I may or may not finish this.  Honestly, I’ve barely even started it.  I’ve got to read four of the stories for my literature class, and I felt I might as well read the rest while I’m at it, but I’ll probably get lazy.  I’ve only read one of the stories so far, and it was enjoyable.

The problem, like I said, is that all 3 of these books are made up of short stories.  I hardly ever read short story collections, because I find it difficult to finish them.  

I have a reading quirk.

Whenever I finish a novel, I can’t read anything else for the rest of the day.  It’s like.. a moment of silence for the book I’ve finished.  I give it the rest of the day to “settle in” out of respect or something.

This tendancy tries to take over as I’m reading short stories as well, so that I want to let each story settle in for the rest of the day before moving to the next.  It’s most often unncessary, and usually just means that I never finish the book.

Obviously, Dubliners and Brief Interviews with Hideous Men have deadlines.  So I’m attempting to curb my impulse to put the book down after each story.  Is it working?  Yes-ish.  Will I finish in time?  I hope so.