If my nightstand could talk it would tell you I’m a schizophrenic reader (I bet you thought I was going to say something else, didn’t you?).
My nightstand is an inherited piece made from Canadian Maple. It doesn’t produce syrup, but it is home to a Limoges porcelain lamp adorned with two very Fragonard-esque lovers. The lamp is likeable for both its campness and its luminescence — it’s a great lamp to read under.
That being said, I’m a notoriously bad reader. I’m slow. It takes me ages to get through an entire book. And since I like owning books so much, I tend to impulsively buy something I want to read, start reading it, only to put it down after another impulsive purchase. My gallery is on the same block as a bookstore. It’s like a heroin addict living on the same block as a clean-needle clinic. I walk the other way.
With all that in mind, it shouldn’t be a surprise that there are currently 4 books on my night stand, all in various stages of being read.
At the bottom is W. Somerset Maugham’s “The Moon & Sixpence.”
I’ve actually already read this one, but I’m re-reading it. Maugham’s insights into the feminine character provide endless source material. When I’m too tired to read much or write anything, I take a quick scan through the pages I’ve dog-eared and salivate over his talent — it’s just written so damn well.
Next is “Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food,” by Paul Greenberg.
I’m not entirely sure how much of “Four Fish” I’ve actually consumed (ha! ha!). I bought it in part to help me with research for an exhibition…that’s right… an exhibition about fish… and in part because I’m a foodie who wants to better justify why I’ll only eat wild fish. I spot read this based on what I plan to have for dinner the next night…
One layer above that is “When You’re Engulfed in Flames,” by David Sedaris.
My bookmark indicates that I’m about half way through. I love everything Sedaris writes.
At the top of the pile is Megan Marshall’s Pulitzer Finalist book “The Peabody Sisters: Three Women who Ignited American Romanticism.”
The 400-page biographic tome has barely been scratched. I’m proud to say this one is a loan from a friend who read my blog and thought “The Peabody Sisters” would be right up my alley. That’s right, someone read “They Told Me to Find a Rich Husband” and the first thing that came to mind was the story of three 19th century women who helped shape America’s greatest literary movement.
I guess I must be doing something right.