Lib Goes To The Library – Part 5


Here it is – through the course of renewing this book repeatedly, and beyond that of which is apparently allowed (see previous post), I have discovered so much about myself.

I have the attention span of a toddler, the shallow investment of an angsty teen, the procrastination of a college kid, and the evasion tack of one unnamed actor/ former NFL player being cross-examined on the stand.

Did I know these things before now? Maybe … but with this experiment of reading a book thoroughly through, I think it’s been made much clearer to me; I would even venture to say undeniably so.

All of that said, I am a liar. As in pants on flaming orange red bursting fire. I lied to the librarian. Not intentionally, mind you. I stood there with every bit of conviction I could muster and mean when I said I would read this book during jury duty. The issue is, well, I got picked to be on a jury 90 minutes in.

I did make it to chapter 3 and I really really like what I’m reading so I want to be able to concentrate on what’s being read. What does this mean for me?

  1. I need to be comfortable.
  2. I need it to be quiet.
  3. I need no distractions.

One and two is a fine line. If I’m too comfortable and it’s too quiet, I fall asleep. It’s like riding passenger on a long road trip. I’m typically out in ten minutes flat and waking only as the vehicle pulls in for the first fill up. On the other hand, if it’s not comfortable and it’s too loud, I get distracted. See number 3: No Distractions. Essentially I need the perfect spot at the perfect moment to read something I truly want to absorb. This doesn’t happen often.

Distractions are everywhere, though, not limited to impromptu attempts at reading in a noisy potentially pain-inducing location. It includes things like getting a text or a call or a notification or a dog barking, thunder clapping, a chipped nail, a piece of corn stuck in my teeth or maybe a shiny object glistening in the corner of the room quietly calling my name.  With these things, my attention also gets diverted. It may be a short diversion, but it’s a diversion nevertheless. And that little diversion inevitably leads me down a rabbit hole of epic proportions.

An example …

I get a text message from my sister asking my thoughts on Tom Hiddleston and Taylor Swift whooping it up as the next new thing. That gives me pause. I’d seen a few gossip rag headlines, but if my sister is texting me about it, then it’s most likely true. I need to Google it to be sure. I flip through images and determine that them being the next new thing is confirmed. Now, I love Tom Hiddleston. I could watch that man act in just about anything. Super talented and certainly my speed in the aesthetics department. That said, I’ve never formulated a definitive opinion on Taylor Swift. For years I associated her with country music, which I can’t stand, but then she was suddenly appearing on some of my radio channels which means she must have crossed over. I found myself singing along here or there but it’s not like her music is really my style. Speaking of style, I liked her style. She had a great stylist…well, until the bleach blonde bit she had here recently, but regardless, she seems ok. I’ve come to my conclusion that it’s weird, but it could be worse, so I text back. There’s some more back and forth about the degree of weird/wrong their togetherness is and then I get a notification that a friend posted a new picture to Instagram. I go to check it out. As I’m scrolling through my Instagram I see a new cast member has been added to my favorite show. Who is this? What is this about? So I go to my Twitter timeline looking for the story. I see an EW article that explains everything. I go to IMDb to learn more about the actor. What have they been in? How tall are they (I ALWAYS want to know how tall they are)? When I see they were in one of my favorite movies, I have to check out who they played because I certainly don’t remember them.  As I’m going through the cast and crew, I realize I’ve never read the trivia for that film. I love behind the scenes trivia about movies and TV shows so that’s what I look at next. While reading the trivia, I remember noting from the EW article that the character said actor would be playing isn’t original and is in fact part of a Comic Book Universe. Is this character a hero or a villain? What comics were they in? So I leave IMDb, go back to Google and search for the character’s name. I find their Wiki and begin to read. I see this character in the comics was married to another character, but then divorced. So what’s with that? I go to check out the other character, too. While looking at that Wiki, I see an image with the character in costume and it looks really cool. I want to see more iterations of it. So I go back to Google and search for that character under images. I scroll through the results, admiring the different works and see a style I totally love. I click on it to take me to its source page which leads me to a Tumblr blog. The blog scheme is super cool. I want to know more about this person. Did they create the artwork or just repost it? Regardless, they like this style, so what else do they like? Maybe we have something in common. What types of stuff do they post? I scroll through, skimming the blogger’s posts and I happen upon the funny gif. It’s of John Krasinski as Jim from The Office. OMG!!! How much do I miss The Office?!!! If there’s a funny gif of Jim here, there has to be more!!! I go back to Google and search for “funny The Office gifs”. I scroll and laugh, laugh and scroll. Then I see one that has Dwight saying “Fire in the Hole”, but I don’t remember that episode. So I quickly go to YouTube and type in “Fire in the Hole The Office” and it comes up right away. I watch the clip and in the right side bar, more clips are suggested. I forgot how funny The Office is and so I watch clip after clip, laughing my head off and waxing nostalgic about the greatest moments of one of the best series I’ve ever seen. Then Clifford calls, interrupting a clip. He always finds a way of killing my buzz. He asks me what’s for dinner and I realize that I have defrosted some chicken but I haven’t decided how to make it and we are both bored by the same old same old. So after he hangs up, I go back to Google and look up I try to find something new that looks good and is easy to make because I can’t cook. I also don’t want to cook. I’m too tired from work. Maybe we can do something low-key like sandwiches. Jimmy Johns! I could go get us some Jimmy Johns. But I also don’t want to leave the house. If I leave the house I have to get gas and if I get gas I should probably pick up some groceries and then all of a sudden my entire evening is spent and I have to go to bed early because I have to wake up early and now there is no way I can read the book because I’m already tired just thinking about how I’m going to be tired which means it is impossible to be awake enough to focus on the good book before me. So I opt to read some fan fiction on my phone instead.

This is one example of many. This, and jury duty, is ultimately why I have yet to complete a mere 235 pages in nearly twelve weeks. I really hope I don’t end up turning this book back in before reading it. But then, I think maybe that’s just my shallow investment angsty teen self finally throwing in.



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