By OBS Staff Member Erin

I love to read. I really do. I usually read five books at time. They’re all totally different– that way I have something to read no matter what I’m in the mood for (right now I’m reading one fantasy, one sci-fi, one non-fiction, and one historical fiction). I do this with movies and TV shows too (this sometimes drives my boyfriend crazy: “No, we can’t watch Bones, we’re eating”). But last week I managed to finish three of the books I was reading. And for a few days I didn’t read anything. I was dreading starting a new book, despite having a stack next to the couch of books I really wanted to read. But I was bored last night, and I felt like reading, so I finally grabbed a couple and read the first chapter of each to see which one I wanted to read next. I actually only made it to the second book, one that has been waiting since I bought it July (I didn’t get any farther because I couldn’t put that one down). And it just occurred to me why I hate starting new books so much. Because they’re unknown. I have no idea what the tone will be, how they’ll make me feel when I read them, or when I’ll want to read that kind of book. So I delay starting a new one because I’m afraid that if I’m in the mood for something else it will color my opinion of that book and I won’t go back to it for awhile; or worse, it will ruin it for me. If I buy a book and don’t start it immediately (for whatever reason) it tends to sit on my shelf for months. Even longer if it’s book I’m really excited about. I know that sounds crazy but I have a reason: if it’s a book that sounds so good, and I’ve heard nothing but good things about it, I procrastinate about starting it. Because I’m afraid it won’t live up to my expectations. How great I imagine a book to be could make it a huge let down. And when it’s an unknown, it’s still perfect. Of course, this isn’t actually how it works. Brick Lane sat on my bookcase for a year, and after I finally read it it became one of my favorites. The book I started last night (The Sparrow, the one I purchased in July) is actually better than I was expecting (I read 136 pages. In one sitting). It’s fantastic, actually, but I don’t want to read it right now. Because it’s suspenseful, and as much as I’m dying to know what happens next (what happened to his hands?!?) I won’t be reading it today. Because it’s the weekend, and I’m feeling lazy and want to relax. So I might read a magazine. Or maybe catch up on Bones.

What about you?  Do you procrastinate when it comes to reading a new book?  What’s holding you back from cracking it open?  Share your thoughts with us!