I’ve been unfaithful.
Oh, the shame.
I’m usually a serial monogamist when it comes to my reading habits. Give me a book and time to read it, and I won’t look up until I’m done. Hand me another while I’m still reading the first, and straight to the book pile it goes.
I know plenty of readers who need a few books going at any given time, but that’s not me. I like the immersive experience of diving into a fictional world, hanging out with the characters, and devoting all my love to my one and only. Trying to maintain more than one relationship just doesn’t work for me.
Yesterday, I cheated. I’m two-timing, and now I’m torn between two relationships. They each want my time and attention. There’s something so attractive about each. They fill different needs in my life, and they both make me feel good. Don’t make me choose!
Hee. Melodramatic much?
The mundane background is this: Yesterday, I had to drive my son to what was supposed to be an all-day event taking place in a town about an hour’s drive from home. The plan was that I’d drop him off at 10 in the morning, and pick him up at 10 pm. All good so far. About 15 minutes after leaving home, the kiddo expressed doubt. Normally, I’d tell him to suck it up and live up to his commitments… but he struck where it hurt: If he stayed for the entire event, he wouldn’t have enough time to do a good job on a school assignment. Wow, sneaky. I agreed to pick him up after the first part of the event, at which point it wouldn’t make sense for me to drive home and then go back, so it was off in search of a Starbucks I went to while away a few hours.
Problem? No book.
I was mid-way through a sci-fi/detective story that I was really enjoying, but anticipating just driving there and back, I didn’t have the book with me. Silly me. I normally NEVER leave the house without a book. What was I thinking?
Stuck in a coffee shop with hours to kill, I simply had no choice. I opened up the Kindle app on my phone and started a new book, an ARC I’d received for a romantic story by an author whose works I’d enjoyed previously.
And it was good.
I read about 35% while waiting to get back on mom duty. And then I had a dilemma: Keep going with the new book, which I was into at this point, or go back to the original book I’d been reading?
Either way, my heart and mind will only be halfway devoted to the book I’m with. I may be reading one, but I’ll be wondering about the other. Am I doing the right thing? What if the other one isn’t as good when I go back to it? What if it pales by comparison — but if I’d never strayed, I might have been perfectly satisfied? How can I be happy with just one when I know there’s another one out there that I feel drawn to?
Oh, the torment of a cheater’s heart!
I’m sure I’ll get through it, but I have to ask: What’s your relationship style with the books in your life?
Are you a serial monogamist — one book at a time, no room for another, until you’ve gotten all the way to the end and you’re ready for something new?
Or do you prefer an open relationship — why limit yourself to just one when there are so many options? Do you read several books at once, going from one to another as the mood strikes?
Right now, as I debate which of my two books to continue with today, I’m thinking that I’m not cut out for the two-timing lifestyle. Once I finish one (or the other), it’ll be back to monogamy for me!