Reading

What Should I Read Next?

It’s seven o’clock and my tutoring shift is winding down. My spouse has promised to pick me up at work and we’re going to try the new Chinese restaurant in town. His class schedule this semester has him waking up at 4:30 in order to beat the traffic, so by seven, he is falling asleep in his (delicious) plate of General Tso’s chicken.

I look at his thousand-yard stare as we wait for the bill. Last week he literally fell asleep at the table. I do the marital mathematics of balancing our wants and needs. He wants to go home and go to bed. I am not sure I have anything to read. Let me repeat that. In a house of ten-thousand books I have nothing to read next.

Panic ensues.

I could drive home by way of the library and leave him in the car while I go get some books. But I’d have to be quick and I don’t really know what I want to read next. I could take him home and then go back to the library. Nah, once I’m home I’m going to want to stay home.  Then—thank god—I remember Maria Mutch’s Know the Night. I have something to read, and Spouse can go to sleep without interruption. Happiness all around.

Then this morning, someone posted a review of Olivia Laing’s new book The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone, and I know what I’m reading next.

What are you reading next?