04 January 2010

The Library Shelf

Reading books is hard work these days. Turning pages can be a real struggle; by the time I manage it, I've lost track of the story. Flipping back to the previous page just ain't going to happen, so I forge ahead, but I'm always afraid I'm missing something. Paperbacks can be particularly tricky to handle, and let's face it, everything is paperback these days. Books in electronic format are a lot easier to read for the dexterity-challenged, but not everything is available as an e-book yet.

Besides, I like real books. I like the cover art, the texture of the paper, the design of the typeface, the layout of the page, the feel of it in my hands (I can't really feel much anymore, but I have a good memory, and a good imagination). I like being able to mark my place with a bookmark from Munro's books in Victoria, BC, or Jocundry's in East Lansing, Michigan (is Jocundry's still there, I wonder?), and see how many pages I have left to read. Sometimes it's just worth it, even if I need help turning pages. Fortunately for me, Scarecrow is willing to put up with a lot. Since he had some time off work over the holidays and was just hanging around the house, I took advantage of his willingness to do this.

I wasn't reading anything edifying or high-minded. I read for fun. I admit I don't often give books the amount of thought they deserve; I read the way most people watch TV. My library shelf is entertaining rather than impressive. I just finished Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. Before that, Endangered Species by Nevada Barr, Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, Roadside Crosses by Jeffery Deaver, Still Life by Louise Penny, not necessarily in that order. I'm currently reading New York by Edward Rutherfurd. I've got Push by Sapphire and An Illustrated Atlas of the Civil War waiting on the shelf when I'm done. And I bought Scarecrow a copy of Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett for solstice. When he's done with it, I'll drop everything else and read that next. I'm seriously due for a Terry Pratchett fix.

I'm still new enough to retirement that I feel vaguely guilty about spending all this time reading for fun; isn't there something else I should be doing? For the first time in my life, the answer is No.

In some respects, acknowledging that I have nothing better to do is painful. In other ways, it's something I might be able to get used to.

1 comment:

  1. I will warning now I'm using voice recognition technology, and I know that you know what that means. It is such a wonderful break for my hands though. After I first retired and was able to hold books again, I read books like a crazy man, anything and everything I can get my hands on. With ms it is so worth it, because you just never know what your last book will be.