Considering how much I dislike being in between books, I thought I would be clever and bypass the purgatorial uncertainty by doing some advance planning.
The plan is this: before I finish with my current book, I’m going to peruse a bunch of potential next-reads. From this perusal, one — or at least not too many — will be settled upon as the next ‘books I’m reading’. Should the selection process become too difficult, I can always return to the soothing oasis that is my current book and continue with the search another time. Sounds good?
The execution has turned out a bit trickier than the plan suggests. I’m currently on the last chapter of James Boyle’s The Public Domain, and from my little “looking ahead” plan, I got William Patry‘s How to Fix Copyright, Adam Freedman’s The Party of the First Part: The Curious World of Legalese, and Lawrence Krauss’s A Universe from Nothing lined up. Although 3 potential next-reads are not the 1 definite next-read that I had hoped the plan would produce, the case is even more hopeless than it now sounds. I’ve realized that although I have these 3 books as my first-tier selections, I’m still not sure that I’ll read one of the three. So I also have a second-tier set of selections: Noah Feldman’s Divided by God: America’s Church-State Problem, Branko Milanovic’s The Haves and the Have-Nots: A Brief and Idiosyncratic History of Global Inequality, Martha Nussbaum’s Why Democracy Needs the Humanities, Tim Groseclose’s How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind, and a bunch more books on copyright that is perennially on my reading list. And even after that exhausting list, I can’t say for certain that my fickle mood won’t drive me to look for something else altogether.
(Image from the Getty Museum.)