Thursday, January 27, 2011

shop talk: reading four books at once

So I have mentioned here that I recently started a new job. What I haven't mentioned is that, in that job I have switched gears a bit. Meaning I now work in Children's books. When I moved to New York it was to work in kids' books so this is a realization of a dream of mine. While I do love adult books (and am finding myself looking longingly at the new releases shelves at B&N every time I visit) I really have always known I would work with or for kids in some way.

What this change means is that I read many more books. I read a lot when I worked in adult. But it was never expected that I'd read everything. It just isn't possible. Working in Children's means that 90% of my reading is now made up of the latest teen novel, vampire adventure or middle grade (think upper elementary) work of fiction. Sometimes I wonder what people think when the person next to me on the subway is reading Jane Austen and the cover of my book has cartoon kids being chased by make-believe beings.

What this also means is that I now read multiple books at once. You'd think, working in publishing, that this would have happened long before I defected to the kiddos but I've been a literary monogomist from the get-go. On rare occassions I would dip into more than one book at once, but generally speaking that happened only a couple of times a year and they would have to be vastly different from one another. Case and point, I read The Hunger Games, the first book in a dystopian Young Adult trilogy a while reading an historical fiction novel set in 19th century Britian. You get the point. But now I've developed a much different system.

I am currently reading four books.

Book A is my long subway ride book. This is for, you guessed it, long subway rides, train rides, plane rides, babysitting, anything that involves a wait and more than 15 minutes. This is currently a Young Adult (teen) book.

Book B is my short subway ride book. It is my "this-car-is-too-crowded-for-me-to-focus" book. Book B used to be Book A but then I decided I wanted to read an award winner so it became book B. It is light and funny and I'm breezing through it almost entirely during my commute to and from work.

Book C is my treat book. My "you-can-only-read-this-at-night-before-bed-so-you-aren't-thinking-about-work" book. And it will take me forever to read it because it is Freedom by Jonathan Franzen and is super long. But I'm reading it on my Kindle so that's OK.

Book D is a lark. It is an easy manuscript that is really more pictures than words and I flip through it while I watch TV. Shhh don't tell!

I do feel like 4 books is a bit excessive. I'm sure I'll dial it back but for now it is fun to think about. I told my friend's ten-year-old who I've recently started exchanging e-mails with (aww!) that reading books has become my homework.

Yeah, that's fun. I can live with that.


MCW said...

How heavy is your bag??? Jeeze.

garden state prep said...

Four books? Wow that's impressive. Working in children's books also sounds amazing!