Mmmm…I love the smell of chemicals in the morning.

New books, in two senses of the word. When undertaking to read the 100 Greatest novels (according to the Guardian newspaper and some other literary bods) I knew I’d have to part with some real money, and wouldn’t get all of them in charity shops, etc. I couldn’t even get a good copy of ‘Clarissa’ secondhand on eBay, so had to shell out Β£15.99 for the paperback. I love the bus tickets/margin notes/suspicious stains of second-hand books, but I also enjoy the heady industrial scent of fresh ink and paper.

And so I have now have these two. They are also new as in I had never heard of Paul Auster, and while I had heard of Philip Roth as a writer, it was on in the same way of knowing Louis VII was a king, but I have no other details than that.

Usually books lead onto each another. An author will quote another work, or there will be contemporaries of theirs to research to get a better picture of a time or theme. Or, I see them all cheap and buy them by the armload, but at least I do read the blurbs to see if I like them. These two, I had no idea about at all, and it doesn’t matter, as they are on the list, and so must be read. I started ‘New York Trilogy’ in the bath last night and enjoyed it so much I forgot where I was and resembled a prune’s grandmother when I got out. One that smoked and had never used sunscreen.