For the last month or so, I've been kind of slow posting new reviews, and that has mostly been because I haven't really been reading many books. This does not mean that I haven't been reading. Instead, I've been cutting into my massive backlog of magazines.
As I have noted before, I subscribe to a fair number of periodicals, which I have traditionally tried to read as soon as they arrived. For various reasons, mostly having to do with my living situation, I more or less stopped reading any of them about two years ago. At first, this was just a temporary thing. I'd set them aside with the intent to get back to them in a few days or weeks. And then the pile kept growing. And then the idea of digging into the increasingly large pile of unread copies of Science News and Poets & Writers was simply too overwhelming to consider. So I put off reading them. And they piled up even more, creating an ongoing negative feedback loop. After I moved into my present abode, the magazines stacked up in the corner of the living room, glowering at me and daring me to try to tackle the imposing pile.
And I simply didn't for a long time. The problem that you run into when you try to keep too many metaphorical plates spinning in the air at once is that when one starts to fall down, they all seem to fall down, and then it takes so much effort to spin them back up again, that you just don't want to do it. And about two years ago, almost all my plates fell down at once. And I'm only now getting to the point where I think I am putting them back up on their poles. So about a month ago, I needed something relatively quick to read. Rather than sort through the mostly disorganized piles of books that are still all about the house, I grabbed the top magazine in the stack and read it. And it was exactly what I needed. So I grabbed another. Soon, I was packing up two or three magazines in my work bag to read on the bus every day. Before too long, I was reading through my old and unread issues of Science News, Locus, Mason Spirit, National Geographic, Virginia, and Poets & Writers. While reading them, I remembered why I had gotten these magazines in the first place. And so I kept reading them.
I'm only about halfway through the stack right now, and I'm probably not going to stop until I get all the way to the bottom, because if I lose momentum now, I'll probably just let the pile sit and build up again. I don't know if I'm going to read the copies of Science that I have, since I never subscribed to that, even though they keep sending me complimentary copies in order to entice me into doing so. I haven't decided if I'm going to bother to read the old issues of the Economist that are in the pile - I let my subscription to that magazine lapse because keeping up with it was an enormous undertaking. I'm setting the copies of Virginia Lawyer aside. I may or may not get around to reading those. I'm licensed to practice law in Virginia, but I don't actually do much practicing law there. My legal work is entirely focused on Federal law in the District of Columbia, so knowing the ins and outs of practicing contract law, or estate law, or any other practice area in Virginia is not likely to be of much benefit to me.
But I will read the other magazines in the pile. Looking through the stack, I noticed that I even had some unread issues of Realms of Fantasy, a magazine that hasn't published a new issue in quite some time, so getting to those is something I'm looking forward to. Two years builds up quite a backlog, so it will take some time to get through the miniature mountain that built up, but I'm getting closer every day. And then I'll tackle the ARC backlog.
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