This week we asked Entropy contributors, “Do you have books you are saving to read, because you don’t want to have read them just yet? Maybe you think you will need to read the book down the road, or you just want to delay gratification a little longer?
Sylvia Aguilar Zéleny
I fell in love with James Joyce as a short-story writer in my early twenties, so I promised myself I will buy and read Ulysses for my 40th Birthday. The time came and decided not to read it until I was 50. I have had a beautiful edition of La Batárde by Violette Leduc for five years now, I want to read it, but then what? I tell myself.
The Last Wolf and Herman: The Game Warden & The Death of a Craft by Lazlo Krasznahorkai. It’s so aesthetically pleasing that I can’t bear to open it. I’ve peeked in a few times, read some, but haven’t cracked the spine. I also don’t know which end to read first. I keep moving it around like some hand held studio object.
I have Bruce Bauman’s Broken Sleep on my bookshelf which I was so excited to find at Skylight Books and hear is amazing. I’m expecting to love it just as soon as I can take on 500 pages. He was a great novel prof at CalArts.
I’m saving both Charles Willeford omnibus editions (probably until summer), Jim Harrison’s Brown Dog for a really rainy day, and James Robert Baker’s Anarchy because it’s the only novel by him I haven’t read, and there aren’t any more coming.
Books by Marguerite Yourcenar, because I know there are no more coming.
I guess you could say I’m saving An Untamed State by Roxane Gay in that it’s been sitting on my shelf for ages and I frequently look at it and think about reading it and don’t.
Haruki Murakami is one of my favorite writers. I usually immediately set everything aside and read his books. But I have not read Kafka on the Shore. I am saving it. Also, I know, I KNOW, I will love and need and devour and cherish The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende. I can’t bring myself to read it because then I won’t have it to look forward to anymore.
Shadowbahn by Steve E. I know that it will take a bit to digest, and I really don’t want to waste the chance to dive into it by rushing to get it done between everything else.
Physical Investigations on Snow by Ukitoro Nakaya. My friend sent it to me from Rhode Island. It is a 1930’s examination of ice crystals and snow formation from the pioneer of snow theory and analysis. It is both rigorous and fascinating with its photos and field studies. I wanted to be a theoretical meteorologist and still do forecasts for friends all the time so this is an amazing gift from a kind friend. I am waiting for the time an idea about weather hits me or when the world gets more chaotic to swim in its pages.
Dennis James Sweeney
My stack of books from AWP is my little lifeline during PhD madness. I know they’re there and will continue to be there when I’ve finished madly reading for the term. I’m saving them by necessity instead of intentionally–so more like they’re saving me.
I’ve been compiling a shelf of books–none of which I’ve read–which were that last titles of authors who killed themselves. Was thinking of getting up to fifty or so, positioning them in the yard, and emptying a few rounds of shot. Something soothing about reading DFW for the first time with a few holes in every page.
Tony O’Neill, Sick City. One of the novels that inspired and continues to inspire me to pursue a life of writing was Down and Out on Murder Mile. I can’t bring myself to read Sick City for fear I’ll never be able to read it with virgin eyes again. I’m saving it for a desperate time, an instance of rock bottom when I’ve lost absolutely all hope. In a way, it is a source of salvation I hope I never have to call upon.