Stephanie and I had an exchange last week about Trollope, and I admitted to her that, in addition to having a To-Be-Read (TBR) list, I have a To-Be-ReRead (TBRR) list. In fact, I do have lists of books I think I might want to read, but most of my TBR list is a pile of books on a chair next to my bed and those lined up like soldiers on a nearby window sill. The TBRR books sometimes get moved from their place on the books shelves to handier stacks.
Keeping up with all these books is a hopeless endeavor and has been since I was about twenty-two. Falling behind makes me feel anxious. I feel like a failure. I feel as if I am missing something important, or delightful. These emotions are just as strong as, if not stronger than the ones I remember from not doing my homework. This guilt complex is crazy. I know that. But I can’t make it go away.
I have, however, found a way to make easy progress on the TBRRs. It is called Librivox-- https://librivox.org --and offers free recordings of books in the public domain.
I much prefer to read a book by myself, sitting in a chair and reveling in the story. Therefore, almost all the books I listen to on Librovox are ones I have read before. Librivox gives me a chance to reread classics while I cook dinner, fold the laundry, or walk to the grocery store. What a pleasure.
Volunteers do the reading. Some are better than others, but all are at least adequate, and some are great. If like me, you need more time to read than you have, I highly recommend hearing the classics. It beats listening to the news on the radio. Five minutes of headlines are all a sane person stand of that. But the words of the greatest writers of the past await you as an antidote to mayhem and destruction.