And books in this series have snuck out with me too

Earlier this year it occurred to me that reading more than a dozen books at once wasn’t really working out.

I don’t have long spans of hours for reading every day, so this inevitably means that some books just don’t get read.

For days and days and sometimes weeks. Well, does that even count as being read anymore?!

(Actually, I hope it does, because one of the books that is NOT in my bookbag is the uber-chunkster Kristin Lavransdatter, which I’m actually really enjoying, but which I hardly ever read, because it’s a lap-book. Like a lap-cat, but not.)

So I’ve had this trim stack of books that I’m really reading, and that’s working out really well.

But now that the weather has nice-en-ed up and I’m on the move more often, I’ve got this other stack going again, the portable stack.

What book do I take to a reading at the library, when taking a library book from another branch will only set off the security system and make everyone (especially me) all freakish?

(Answer: Dorothy Sayers’ Strong Poison. That’s where I’m at in the series.)

What do I pull out and read on my phone, when I don’t want to pull out the book that I actually brought with me (for a myriad of reasons that I probably don’t need to explain to the obsessively bookish here)?

(Answer: D.H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers, because it was on my list of Must Reads for 2011 and, no, I still haven’t read it. But having it on my phone? That’s recent. It might be my saving bookish grace.)

What do I want with me before an appointment, when I know that a short period of time in a waiting room will force me to look at something I might normally avoid, that can compete with glossy mags on the table?

(Answer: Emma Mitchell’s Energy Exercises, which contains 22 very short and simple workouts, in brightly coloured photos, the poses rooted in eastern and western traditions, each only taking a few minutes, which of course I won’t ever do unless I read about doing them first.)

And what about when I have a long commute ahead, when the amount of time that I’ll actually be “doing” whatever is vastly outweighed by the amount of time spent “getting there and back”?

(Answer: The April issue of “Quill & Quire”, even though just looking at it makes me feel guilty that I still haven’t read The Bishop’s Man and here Linden MacIntyre is publishing his celebrated follow-up. But, seriously, nothing adds to my reading list monthly like Q&Q. I actually squeak when it arrives in the mailbox.)

And, finally, those gaps of time when I’m just walking and not reading?

(Answer: I’m teaching myself to be a better listener and my current audiobook is Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84. Not taking notes is driving me a little crazy, but I’m wholly engaged in the story.)

So that’s what I’m reading that is not, technically, on my reading stack.

Which one gets tossed in my bookbag depends on the circumstances.

What are you reading, but not reading, these days?

What’s in your bookbag today?