Reorganising books on my shelves, I didn’t have room to put INTO THE AIR, so I figured I’d read it, then add it to my bag to go to the thrift shop. It’s Jon Krakauer’s account of a fatal Everest expedition and a thematic cousin to THE PERFECT STORM. Oceans and mountains: the two natural bodies humans have attempted to conquer as long as we’ve been alive.

My books are currently organised thusly: two and a half shelves of books I’ve read and want to keep, two and a half shelves of books by women to read, three shelves of books by men to read. (I was consolidating space, so two shelves of books are actually sitting on only one physical shelf.) INTO THE AIR was in the ‘to read’ pile, but I discovered it already had half a dozen sticky tabs on the pages.

More often than not, when I pick up a book off my shelf, I find something between the pages: a bookmark where I last left off, the receipt from purchase, a piece of ephemera left behind by a previous owner. These tabs are mine, an old habit from the time when I was more meticulous about recording my favourite quotes. (I don’t use them now because I don’t keep many books.)

When I checked my reading log, however, I have no record of finishing this book. I finished Krakauer’s INTO THE WILD on July 09, 2008, but I didn’t finish INTO THE AIR. I started CAT’S EYE by Margaret Atwood last week, but it hasn’t grabbed me yet, so an easy, readable non-fiction is the perfect accompaniment. My brain likes variety and distraction, and when something’s not working, there’s always something else.