I had lunch with my friend today. Her husband was urging her to confess the latest catastrophe scenario for which she was preparing. ‘I’m worried I haven’t got enough books downloaded onto my kindle in case I get kidnapped,’ she said. Well yes, I can see that would be concerning. What keeps me awake at night is figuring out how to evacuate the maximum number of books from my house in the event of fire or flood. The real key here is whether I could persuade the men to help. My son would be up for it, but that Mister Litlove is unpredictable.
My friend loves her kindle (and good for her) so I didn’t quite explain that I’d been stockpiling books against the onslaught of the ereader. But – and here we all take a collective gasp – I have decided to make a concerted effort not to buy many books in the second half of the year. As I mentioned in a previous post, I get the feeling I’ve also been stockpiling to bolster myself against the prospect of my own mortality, and believe you me, I have been quite effective on my own behalf. But just the other day, that little fantasy turned around and bit me. Wouldn’t it be just dreadful, I thought, if I were to die before reading all the books I own? So, hard as it may be, I’m going to slow the acquisition rate right down. And I might try and read a little more slowly. I’ve actually kept a reading diary this year and I’m surprised to note I read far more books a month than I thought I did. Where I’d guessed at 7 or 8 a month, I turn out to be reading around 12.
That being said, I had hoped to finish Paul Auster’s New York Trilogy in time to review it today, but I have the last story still to read. Then again, who would really want a serious review on a Friday in August? I’m also reading Angela Carter’s Wise Children and the contrast between the two books is entertaining. Talk about yin and yang! The Auster is cool, cerebral, low-key, the language is restrained, quite dry in places, while the Carter is rich and bawdy and often rude, a verbal banquet that overwhelms the reader’s mental palate. I’ve been enjoying them both. In their very different ways, they never cease posing intriguing questions, although the Carter is a big firework display, and the Auster a tricky library quiz.
So that’s my reading for the weekend, although there are other books hovering on the periphery. I have a biography of Victorian lady traveller, Isabella Bird, as she’s the next author to audition for my book. And I’d like to start The Hare with Amber Eyes soon, also one of the Italian novels in translation I’ve been promising myself, The Leopard, perhaps or the Italo Svevo (also up for audition as his life and his career were transformed by a meeting with James Joyce). And for several weeks, Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall has been calling my name. So many enticing things in the queue, as always.
And last but not least, the lovely Kim at Reading Matters, featured the Reading Room in her Triple Choice Tuesday slot. I feel honored as Kim is pretty much book blog royalty and TCT is a post I always read.
Hope you all have a lovely restful weekend with lots of good reading!