Monday, November 23, 2009

Too Many Books, Too Little Time

My current "To Read" stack is at least 35 books deep. I have this notion (perhaps silly?) that I can actually read them all before I start grad school in August, if only I put down the computer and really start reading again. The simple truth is that, of course, I could read 35 books by August. I used to read at least 2 books a week. Now, not so much....and the internet is mostly to blame. Damn you cursed internet! Why are you so beguiling?

Not having time, or at least feeling as though I didn't have time, during the last several of the 10 odd years it took me to finish my BA while working didn't help either. Somehow, it felt less like I was being too distracted from school if I spent time on the internet than if I spent time reading what I wanted to read (in book form.) I'm currently working diligently to break the habits of not reading enough books, often enough and to return to my former ways; I've read 7 books in the last month and having recently started/joined a book club with a friend helps. It's struggle though. And yet, somehow, that doesn't stop me from desiring more books on a pretty regular basis.

I was just made aware of this brand new book by way of another blog and am filled with such an intense desire to own it immediately that I just don't quite know what to do with myself. I suspect it would have been such a huge addition to the study I did two years ago for my senior thesis and contains at least one essay by one of my Anthropological heroes, Robbie Davis-Floyd. It's just a shame that the $189.00 price tag is so incredibly off-putting. However, with a title like Childbirth Across Cultures it will have to become a part of library at some point, and will hopefully be an invaluable reference for my eventual graduate level thesis research.

Speaking of too many books, as I went to add Childbirth Across Cultures to my Amazon wish-list (which I use more as a convenient way to keep track of the books I want to read/buy than to actually order off of Amazon) I noticed that it already contains 376 other books. Oy veigh. Someday we will have a house large enough for a real library....or at least one with many, many built in shelves all over the house.

T says I can't take all the books I currently own with us when we move to North Carolina next year. Given that, or even the option of taking them anyway, I should really should work on not adding anymore books to my collection between now and August, or at least attempt to glean the shelves of things I really don't want and can donate to Title Wave.

Really is one ever supposed to read all the books one would hope to read in a lifetime? Aren't there just simply too many?


Anthro Doula said...

Oooh you're moving to NC for your grad program? Would that happen to be at Chapel Hill? That was my undergrad institution :)

Have you read Brigitte Jordan's Birth in Four Cultures? THAT is at great read, and how I got into everything I'm interested in now.

Also, I saw on your sidebar that you have Margaret Atwood's Blind Assassin on your book list. I haven't read that one but I loved The Handmaid's Tale. Good luck with your 35 books!

Kim said...

Not Chapel Hill, going much smaller than that- ECU in Greenville. And my best friend might disown me if I went to Chapel Hill...She did her undergrad and law school at Duke. ;-) Although really, my main reason for not applying there was that the nursing school doesn't have an alternate entry option nor a midwifery track. Plus, it didn't seem as though any of the anthro faculty had specific interests in reproductive anthro.

Birth in Four Cultures is one of my absolute favorite books! It was a huge inspiration for my senior thesis.

I just finished Blind Assassin last night. I think I liked Handmaid's Tale slightly better, but it was really good. I definitely recommend it!

Thanks for stopping by!

warmchocmilk said...

I'm an RN and did a preceptorship in midwifery. It is facinating! I so enjoyed the time I spent there, but it's a lifestyle no a job, and my life is already so busy and so focused on my own kids and family at this time it just is not possible for me.
I think I will have to look for "Birth is 4 cultures" :)

erin said...

Hi Kim,

Thanks so much for your comment! It is always great connecting with people interested in midwifery, but especially people who found their way out of being on a path to medical school!

On a side note, I was an urban studies major in college with a focus in public health and as a result took several anthropology classes. It's a fantastic field and very exciting that you're planning to merge anthro and midwifery. Now that I've finished my BSN and have the next few weeks pretty free before I leave for Haiti, I'm definitely going to check out some of the books on your list!

Thanks again, Kim, and best of luck with everything!