Today at work, I realised how few books I have read recently. Which is unfortunate, as I work in a bookshop. To be fair, the overwhelming volume of books means that even the keenest of readers will have those elusive few tomes that continually elude them. The amount of stock we have in the shop in back stock alone, not to mention new releases, is phenomenal. I continually find myself eyeing off books and keeping note of my ‘to-reads’.
I was a keen reader as a child, and am again now. However, there seems to be a black hole in my adolescence where reading just dropped off the radar. I think it was replaced by midriff-baring and extreme self-analysis. In any case, it saddens me that there are many books, too many I feel, that I have meant to read but never have.
For instance, a snippet of today’s conversation with my friend and work colleague:
Friend-colleage (F-C, talking about Annie Proulx’s latest release): I mean, I enjoyed The Shipping News but he was just such a dickhead!
Me: Oh? I never read it… who was in that movie again?
F-C: Kevin Spacey.
Me: And Julianne Moore right?
Snippet no. 2:
F-C: I’ve lost my copy of The Quiet American, which sucks because I love The Quiet American!
Me: I never read that either! Ah, there are so many classics I need to read.
Customer (to F-C): It is a great book (smiling).
I don’t think I need to stress my point any further. I am currently trying to get through Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale, which is a joy to read. The only reason I say I am ‘getting through it’ is because it is our book club book, and I need to read it before I leave so my mum, who is also in said book club, can read it before our meeting date. Which is 2 days after I get back. What is going on! Reading isn’t meant to be stressful!
So I have decided I need to integrate reading into my life more. I think that would help if I cleaned up my room so I have a clear and calm space in which to indulge my passion properly. I bought a collection of Jane Austen’s novels a while ago – haven’t touched them. The same is for books by Mark Twain, Nabokov and Dickens. Nope, nope and nope.
This must change in 2010! I implore you, dear reader, to take on my challenge with me, and consume as many books as you can. I don’t like to turn books into numbers, but I would like to read more than my current few a month. Is one a week pushing it?
I’ll let you know soon enough!