Polyreading. No, not a parrot with a book.
I read like I watch TV. Some days one half hour show here, an hour one there, then maybe a film, or I can binge watch the whole of House Of Cards in a day. I read the same way. Over the course of an evening I can read an hour each out of four books, or if something grips me, read just that one from over to cover, occasionally peeling myself from the sofa to go to the toilet, put some cereal in a bowl, and open the front door to let the cat out, feeling grateful that she pretty much takes care of herself.
These are the four books I am currently reading. I am also reading War and Peace, and have been for a few months no, but it lives in my desk at work now, as I’m nearly done, and it has become the property of lunch breaks.
Mary Shelley – Frankenstein
Charles Dickens – Nicholas Nickleby
Karl Ove Knaussgaard – A Death In The Family
Graham Green – The Quiet American
The other good thing about polygamous book reading, is being able to dip into a book according to mood. It’s rarely going to be a good idea to read Proust in a noisy doctor’s waiting room while a toddler turns leaflets about irritable bowel syndrome into confetti, and an old man threatens to cough up not just his lungs, but all his other organs as well.
The copy of The Quiet American came from eBay and was printed in 1962. I have a special fondness for books which have the ‘old money’ price on them. I love money I don’t understand. I wasn’t born in 1971 when they had the big change over, so have only ever known the new money, but so dearly wish to offer urchin children half a crown for running an errand, or a shilling, or a florin, a tanner, thuppence, and to have some idea what they all mean. My book cost 3’6. I think that’s three shillings and sixpence. Although I paid about £3.50 for it.
I also think this blog post has gone off on some kind of old money tangent, harking back to the days when books cost what I think is £0.42 in the new money. The stale, soul-less, new money, with it two basic, boring terms of pounds and pence. Yawn. Bring back groats and guineas!