After spending the holidays reading everyone’s “best of” lists, I find myself wanting. It’s pathetic when your list of books you wish you read and movies you wish you saw is longer than the ones you actually enjoyed.
So this year I’ve resolved to doing better about committing to a reading list and finding my way to the theater. Seems a lot better (and easier) resolution to keep than losing weight or slaying any other vice.
When it comes to books, it’s mostly about finding time for me. I’m a finicky reader. Some folks can read on a crowded bus, in front of the television or in the break room during lunch. But I’ve always preferred a perfectly quiet room and enough time to get through many chapters vs. a snippet here and there.
Like most of you, that situation is rarely (if ever) found. So my book shelf remains filled with gifts from Christmas past. It’s a pretty good assortment and will make a nice list once they’ve actually been read. Until then, I’ve called a moratorium on books as gifts.
Movies are another matter. While the cost of a movie and appropriate movie snacks (unlike some friends, buttered popcorn is a necessity for me and of course a drink to wash it down with) is enough to scare anyone away, I can’t totally blame the price. I’ve got unused theater gift cards that could help with that.
My problem with getting to movies is more about timing than time. I like to see movies when they are first released. But inevitably something comes up, a couple of weeks go by and suddenly it doesn’t seem as much as an attraction as it first was.
Wish I had Michael Clark’s job. The movie reviewer for our Weekend section doesn’t have much choice — he has to see the movies, mostly before they are even widely released. Maybe he needs an assistant.
If I don’t see a movie when it first comes out, I usually miss it entirely. That’s the way it was with “The Town” (which I still can’t wait to see) and a plethora of others, including “The Fighter.” “The Fighter” is still in theaters so I’ve got a chance.
Who knows, maybe next year I can have an actual list of favorites. And possibly a much better resolution.
E-mail Todd Cline at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears on Wednesays.