I’ve probably mentioned it before, but I am a bookaholic. This habit means that I get up to things I probably shouldn’t, such as reading reviews for books I’ve never heard of, just because they are links at the end of the last book I finished on my Kindle.(Yes, I’m a book tart, I keep my Kindle by the side of my bed, on top of the pile of real books that I’ll probably have on-the-go at the same time).
And following links is a dangerous thing to do, because before you know it, you’ve discovered something else you just have to read (which I know is how the powers-that-be want us to react), and of course this can lead us off on all kinds of tangents.
But I love all that. Before the advent of the internet, I’d spend hours, quite literally hours in bookshops, browsing. Now, with the benefit of reviews and alternative suggestions and ‘people who also bought’, my horizons have widened, I’ve read about topics I didn’t even know existed before – and been happier for it.
I still spend hours in bookshops, as I said I’m a book reading tart, and I’ll grab my fix from any number of sources – charity shops are a guilty pleasure…
But I digress.
The thing is this, on my most recent link-fest, I managed somehow to discover Patrick Leigh Fermor’s A Time To Keep Silence and Susan Hill’s Howard’s End is on the Landing.
Spending time wandering around old ruined abbeys has undoubtedly given me a taste for understanding more about the monastic life, there is a sliver of me that yearns for silence and contemplation, so I decided I’d give Fermor’s book a go.
But at precisely the same time, I read the synopsis for Susan Hill’s book about the year she spent, not buying new books, but revisiting the ones on her shelves that she either hadn’t already read, or wanted to reread. And it was as if a giant violin string had gone twang in my head. Because I know that I have forty odd years worth of books living around me, a certain number of which I haven’t actually ever got around to reading and yet more that I keep telling myself I would like to go back and read again.
I wondered if I had the capacity to do the same thing – to spend a few months not buying anything new, but instead getting reacquainted with books I already own.
It would be quite a surprise if I could do it. I think I can say with hand on heart, I’ve never been more than a couple of weeks without buying something new to read in the last forty years. So, I’m thinking about this as a bookish challenge for the rest of 2013. It would certainly amaze the other half, but I don’t know what I’d be like to live with – would it be like going cold-turkey? Should I do it?
I haven’t made up my mind yet. I’ve ordered A Time To Keep Silence, so that might be the last new purchase of 2013 – or it might not.
In other news…
There’s a new post on Mists of Time about the small parish church of All Saints’, Clifton, Bedfordshire.