Wednesday, 6 September 2017
Too Many Books! Not Much Time Left!
The older I get, the more discerning I get about what I read for pleasure. I think that one of the reasons for this is that I'm all too aware of time running out. There are so many damn fine books in the world, that it is impossible to read them all. I have hundreds of books on my shelves that I haven't yet got round to reading (yet I still continue to buy more) and, as one of my Facebook friends said in a recent post, ploughing through a book you're not enjoying for the sake of feeling you have to finish it, is a waste of time; time that could be spent reading something wonderful. Other friends swear by the Page 50 Test. In other words, if you're not enjoying the book fifty pages in, then cast it aside, because it's unlikely to get any better. However, I have been known to abandon a few books fifty pages before the end!
I admit I feel a little guilty about casting books aside without having read them cover to cover, but I do give away the books I've finished with, either to the secondhand bookshop at the National Trust property where I volunteer, or I give them to friends and relatives. It's not as though I throw them in the bin or (heaven forbid) set fire to them.
I've struggled to find books I'm passionate about recently (maybe this is a sign of getting older!). I get a lot of freebies from publishers as well as goody bags from literary festivals and I have to say it's unusual to find a real gem amongst them. Having said that, All The Wicked Girls by Chris Whitaker (one of at least a dozen freebies from Harrogate Crime) was an amazing reading experience. Why? The characters, sense of place and wonderful writing made it stand out from the crowd. For once a crime novel that didn't rely exclusively on plot!
I'm currently reading Shirley by Charlotte Bronte (inspired by a recent visit to the Bronte Parsonage in Howarth). Boy, could that woman write! It's an old battered hardback copy, a New York edition, in fact, that belonged to my late mother, who was incidentally called Shirley. You even learn a bit of history, too. Can't be bad.
In other news, I had a busy day yesterday, beginning with a bike ride in torrential rain. Tuesday is my National Trust volunteering day and, although we had fewer visitors than in recent weeks, it was an enjoyable day and I got a great short story idea from a young couple.
Another bike ride today, but I managed to avoid the rain showers. I also tackled some much-needed housework!
Posted by Jo at 08:55