The Literary Lover’s Nightstand by Sharon Nir
From the books she can’t let go of to the ones on her current reading list, author Sharon Nir explains her complex relationship with her nightstand.
I hate my nightstand. I purchased it in 2001 soon after I relocated along with my husband and 18-month-old son to New York City. I searched for a cheap solution, and that one winked: “challenge accepted.” I carried the characterless iron frame in one hand and the glass surface in the other for ten blocks to my Upper East Side apartment. My husband felt having only one nightstand was a bad karma, so I went back and purchased another for his side of the bed. Possible the first time I acknowledged balance can be overrated.
Fifteen years passed, and strangely enough it survived eight relocations across two continents and three states. However, the only good thing about my nightstand is that it has enough space for all the books I read, plan to read, and am reading right now.
My Bachelor of Arts degree is in Language and Literature, and trust me, no one chooses those majors unless they wholeheartedly love to read. And I love reading. I read everything from poetry to prose, any genre, classic or contemporary, famous authors or authors no one has heard of. The latter are my favorites, because discovering an exceptional writing style is the sweetest gratification of every literary lover.
At the moment, on my nightstand are 10 books. The books I had already read but experience separation anxiety when I consider placing them in another room are: Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, Gone Girl by Gillian Fynn, Fundamentals of Financial Management by Brigham and Houston, The Fast Path to Corporate Growth by Marc Meyer, and Managing Business Ethics by Trevino and Nelson. The former three I read during my MBA, but a year later, I went back for economic advice, parental guidance, or personal growth.
I read Eat Pray Love a few years ago while I was in the midst of my grueling high-skilled immigration process and desperately needed motivation to keep on my journey towards a better future. Gone Girl I keep close because Amy Dunne represents the woman I could never be (yet I assume being a conniving bitch must be quite entertaining).
Then there are the books that I plan to read: Searching for Beauty: The Life of Millicent Rogers by Cherie Burns, a fellow New Mexico author. When a synopsis’ first line is: “Nobody knew how to live the high life like Standard Oil heiress Millicent Rogers,” I cannot curb my enthusiasm. I had never read any of Burns’ books before, but I have a feeling I’m up for a great pleasure. The second book in line is a translation to English of the short story collection Baboon by Danish author Naja Marie Aidt. A Facebook fan recommended it, and while reading the description, I felt like I was watching an Ingmar Bergman movie. Enough said.
Finally are the books I’m reading now. I’ve almost finished Immigration Wars by Jeb Bush and Clint Bolick. I started reading it at the beginning of last year, just before I received my permanent residency and was cleared to resume employment six years after immigration services made me choose between my career and my family. I recently sent Jeb Bush my book, The Opposite of Comfortable, and thanked him for being a reasonable voice in the Theater of the Absurd. The second is The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. Much of Lahiri’s work deals with large themes like family, duty, freedom, and the immigrant experience in America— themes with which I have much in common. So far I’m enjoying every paragraph.
Now, if you were counting, one book is missing. It is Vogue magazine, because “a girl should be two things: classy and fabulous” -Coco Chanel.
Sharon Nir was born in Tel Aviv, Israel. She holds a Bachelor of Art degree in Language and Literature from Tel Aviv University, and an MBA in Marketing and International Management from Northeastern University, MA. As a system analyst and marketing manager in the high tech industry, Sharon developed the first Knowledge Management system in Israel and enjoyed a successful high-tech career when at the age of 29, she decided to follow her husband as his career took him to New York City.
In 2009, the family immigrated to the United States. Sharon, her husband and two children reside in Albuquerque, NM.
Sharon’s book The Opposite of Comfortable follows her journey to find fulfillment, balance, and happiness while exposing the baffling and grueling process of professional immigration in the United States. Learn more and order your copy here.
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