This is the stack of books that currently threatens to kill me from my bedside table. I love them all. I can’t commit to reading just one. I just pile them up and read a little of each, rarely seeing any through to completion. Is it still love if I pick one up, read a few pages then get distracted and seduced by another? I mean, I read very attentively while I’m reading–post it flags and highlighters, the whole nine. Am I thinking of one protagonist while reading about another? No, I really am not. And on the rare occasion that I do, I switch back to the book in which the protagonist that occupies my mind is in. So that’s a kind of book-monogamy isn’t it? In the moment monogamy–very 21st century, evolved (dare I call it Zen?) monogamy. Maybe I’m working out other issues here.
Seema Reza is the author of “When the World Breaks Open,” a memoir of essays and poetry published by Red Hen Press in Spring 2016. Based outside of Washington, DC, she coordinates and facilitates a unique multi-hospital arts program that encourages the use of the arts as a tool for narration, self-care and socialization among a population struggling with emotional and physical injuries. Her writing has appeared in print and on-line in Entropy, The Feminist Wire, Bellevue Literary Review, The Offing, Full Grown People, and The Nervous Breakdown among others. She is the Chair of Community Building Art Works. Her second book, a collection of poetry was a winner of the Write Bloody 2017 Manuscript Contest and is forthcoming in 2018.