What with all of the other weighty concerns filling our world with doubt and uncertainty, it grieves me that I find myself faced this week with yet another terrible issue, the search for a resolution of which is already causing me sleepless nights and loss of weight. I appeal to my readers for their thoughts on the matter.

You see, although I generally read two or three books at at time in the evening, for my metro commute I restrict myself to completing a single volume. For one thing, I only have a window of twenty-five to thirty minutes each way, and experience has taught that reading multiple books within that time-frame results in too slow and diffuse a perusal of any one of them. Plus there is the physical disadvantage of hauling about the extra weight.

Well, last Friday afternoon I finally completed William Hague’s biography of Billy Pitt. Thus, yesterday morning found me debating about what to read next. Something old? Something new? Something fictitious? Something historickal? Something humourous? Something tragickal? Well, at last, reckoning that it was time to give history a bit of a rest, I settled on an old favorite: Evelyn Waugh’s Scoop.

By the end of the day, I was well on my way through “The Stitch Service” for the umpteenth time and enjoying it thoroughly.

However, waiting for me at home last evening was a brand-new book recommended to me by Sir Basil, namely John Biggins’ A Sailor of Austria: In Which, Without Really Intending To, Otto Prohaska Becomes Official War Hero No. 27 of the Habsburg Empire.

Greedily, I ripped open the package and read the introductory chapter as I put together some din-dins (Mrs. R having gone out with the eldest gel for some Mommy/Daughter time).

Now my evening reading schedule is already pretty crowded and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Attempting to horn Mr. Biggins ‘novel into the rotation at this point simply will not do. So the alternative is to start bringing it along on the metro.

Here’s the dilemma, then: As I say, I’m already well away with Scoop and I would feel quite guilty abandoning it. On the other hand, I really want to get into Sailor of Austria as soon as possible. If I decide to do so, it will probably take me a week or so to finish up Scoop and frankly I’m not sure I want to wait that long.

What to do? What to do?