I originally started this installment with the intent of focusing on what I’m looking forward to and accomplishing this year. Yes, I really did plan on writing in January. But something changed when I got into the topic of tackling my Regina Pile.
I remember when we started doing the podcast listeners were amazed (one in particular, hence the name) to find out we had comicbooks weeks and months old that hadn’t yet been read (Logan was a Regina resident when he called into the show, again, hence the name, and yes, we used to play voicemails). And I understand why that might be baffling to some. There are readers who won’t get their next batch of books until they finish what they brought home last time. There are readers who, due to the price of comicbooks today, only buy what they can afford and therefore find it a waste of money to have stories stacked in a pile waiting to be read. But life gets in the way for some of us. There are only so many hours in the day and they’re divvied up among family, work, sleep, and any non-comicbook related hobbies.
Then the problem is never catching up (sure, you can stop buying comicbooks, read what you have, and say goodbye; but you won’t). Whether you get your books from the shop every week or have them shipped to you once a month (to say nothing of your convention haul) you’re not only adding to your collection, but to your Regina Pile as well.
It was one thing when I only had physical stacks of books (which is an advantage over digital, because there may be a lot of swiping and scrolling just to see what you have in your library). To be able to see what’s waiting for me, maybe come up with a game plan, rearrange the stack based on my mood. It was somewhat inviting, almost reassuring, knowing I’d have something to read whenever I’d be ready. It never really felt insurmountable even if I thought it’d never be beaten. Maybe because it was never a chore, I never had a goal of defeating my Regina Pile.
But then came tablets giving us another way to read comicbooks. And at first it was an easy way to quickly read what came out or to fill in any gaps if any gaps needed filling. Unfortunately (or fortunately, but for the sake of this particular feature, bear with me), convenience can lead to habit. I’ve written about my appreciation of the digital format, but since it’s so easy to load up an iPad with comicbooks, compared to lugging trades around, why not download a few collections? Plus, if your only connection is Wi-Fi, you better load up for the road. No telling when you’ll find a hotspot. But, I digress…
When it comes to my reading habits it all depends on what I’m in the mood for. There are times when I might feel like reading a few random single issues of Deathstroke and The Punisher and Black Hammer. I might open comiXology on my iPad and binge Old Man Logan or Nova, taking a small bite out of the ol’ Regina. This doubles as an excuse to read something for the podcast so we can tag team on a title.
What doesn’t help is rereading old stories. Even if they’re repackaged and I’ve double-dipped. While my Regina Pile is stacked with tales I haven’t read yet, every so often an old favorite calls out to me.
Batman/Grendel. God Loves, Man Kills. Born Again. The Dark Knight Returns. Mage. Legends. Various issues of Marvel Team-Up or World’s Finest… but that’s a column for another day.
I suppose I’ll never not have a Regina Pile. Which is absolutely fine. I don’t want to never have something to read. I’m sure there’d be a sense of accomplishment, a proud feeling after reading every story on hand. But I can’t help but think I’d feel empty.
What’s on your Regina Pile? How close have you gotten to conquering it before adding more books? Does it consist of titles you’re currently reading and have fallen behind on or new-to-you that you haven’t had a chance to try yet? Do you wait until awards season and add the winners to the stack? Is it a shelf in your bookcase or a Jenga-esque tower next to the bed?