well, I felt like reading something this evening--which is pretty much the standard situation for me--but of course I felt it would be unfair to start my Buddy Read book a day early (except for the Introduction). and I didn't feel like the Brubaker Batman graphic novel, because it's fairly lengthy and I I don't want to use it as filler for one night and then have to either rush to finish it, or leave it for a long time while the Buddy Read takes place.
so, I did something I haven't done for a long time: I started a short-story collection knowing I would then be setting it aside--after one story--to tackle a novel tomorrow. many years ago, that's how I would deal with short story books--except that I would finish a story or two, and really just want to keep going over the ensuing days until I'd read all the tales. so I switched to that strategy with the shorter-fiction collections, just read them through rather than parking them and returning to them, ie, for a story or two between novels.
but tonight has made me go back to the old idea of reading just one story,and then doing a novel, and then going back for another shortie, and back and forth. I don't know if that's going to last. there are other things I could try too...like maybe committing to one short story every night, regardless of where I am in a novel; but that's less likely for my personality, because I really prefer one fictional tale getting all my attention until it's done and absorbed and pondered, and then on to the next. if anything, because I won't want to carry the short-story book around, I might be out with a novel that I'm about to finish as I relax after work at the coffee shop, and I'll have packed along the next novel scheduled, and if I start that new novel while I'm out...well, the next short story will have to wait a few days more (though I could see sneaking a short story in that night, at home, if I'm only a chapter or two into something new...we'll see).
meanwhile, Arthur Conan Doyle got me through tonight, with something called 'The Adventure of the Devil's Foot'. I had not read anything featuring Sherlock Holmes as written by his creator in many, many years--and if I did read this tale way back in my youth, I'd since forgotten it. actually, it felt fresh, and I really loved it, though it does remind me of Martin Edwards' contention that Doyle, with his Holmes short fiction, should not necessarily be expected to give the reader "fair play" whodunits, and in fact should probably be forgiven for that because (a) he wrote before that approach really became the absurdly popular norm, and (b) there are other pleasures to be had hanging out with the Greatest of Great Detectives.
this collection features Mysteries unfolding during people's vacations, probably some at popular spots or their fictional equivalents. I'll be especially thrilled to get to the more obscure, less-often-reprinted stuff, like the stories from Helen Simpson, and Anthony Berkeley, and more. if these are really good--well, my plan to space them out between novels will go down the drain, and I'll be back to my old self.