Sunday 23 September 2012

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers - Charles William Eliot

So my first Kindle outing has been and gone.  It was not as fulfilling as I’d imagined.  Or hoped.  But then, such is often the way with our expectations and wishes.

I was initially so excited that I couldn’t concentrate on what I was reading.  And then I couldn’t settle on one thing.  There I was flicking from short story to poem.  To history.  And a bit of psychology.  Yet not actually reading anything.  Like literary zapping.  It's simply too much choice in one place.  The kind of blinding effect of standing before vast shelves of unread pages.  All as inviting as the next.
Teething problems, methinks.  I have more journeys before the end of the year and will hopefully calm down for the next time.  Although I’m wondering if the Kindle is not actually the problem.  I mean, how could it be??
Since my return to work, I have mentioned the trouble of finding quality time to read.  But something is wrong.  I do have opportunities to read, albeit fewer and farther between than earlier in the year. On the bus, waiting (for people, for things…), before bed.  Yet my mind is elsewhere.  Open pages are remaining unturned and unread. 
My physiotherapist commented how long Summer had been.  And he was right. The book itself (by Edith Wharton) is short.  I am careful to choose shorter books or stories now I have less time available. To ease the transition. But I’ve been reading it for a good three weeks.  Three weeks?!
It’s not that I wasn’t loving it either.  I do love EW – vivid, thoughtful.  Endearing.  If always a tad tragic.  But reading it has been like wading through waves of the sea – a happy chore. Tiring and bordering on burdensome.  An unfamiliar malaise.   
Concerned, I made time to address such madness. So I killed off Summer last night.  And today, my day has been dedicated to catching up.  I slept late, cooked, baked.  And this afternoon, took up with Alan Bennett.  The Uncommon Reader.  Thankfully, I devoured it in a matter of hours.  Thankfully, because it is the very remedy to end any literary malady.  The very book to send you right back into reading.  Superb.  Even with Elizabeth II as the central character.  Strange.  But true.
Reading how HRH discovered “how one book led to another, doors kept opening wherever she turned and the days weren’t long enough for the reading she wanted to do”, you can’t help but be inspired back between the pages.  Delightful.  My world makes sense again.  For now at least...

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