When I was contemplating a subscription to The New Yorker, I talked it out with my friends wondering, will it be worth it, or will it just stress me out because it comes so frequently? One friend laughed and sent me this bit from The Good Place, which is one of my favorite scenes from the show:
Despite my friend’s warning, I subscribed. And in January, the issues started piling up.
In my zeal after finishing my massive reading project, I put myself on the waitlist for multiple books at the library. At first, because I had to wait in line, there was no pressure, and I read magazines and unwanted books at my leisure.
But then one of my holds became available when I was midway through another book, and I knew I had limited time to get to the library book and get through the library book before it would expire and go to someone else, so I had to hustle. When I was midway through that library book, one of my other holds became available. Then another one.
Meanwhile, the New Yorkers piled up. I kept them in a small stack behind my reading chair in the living room, thinking, oh boy, the more those pile up, the more overwhelming it’s going to feel to get through them, and then they’ll stress me out and I’ll never get to them and I’ll always be behind.
Yesterday, I said, Enough. Forget the library books. I can get those again another time. I’ve got all the January issues of The New Yorker here, and it’s only four, and four is manageable. If nothing else, I can read the short stories and the cartoons from four issues and call it a day.
So I did, and now I feel better. I’ll be able to actually sit down with the next one that arrives in the mail and read it unburdened. And, since I was between books when I finished the backlog yesterday, I was able to begin a new novel last night: Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami.