Monday, 31 March 2008

So many books, so little time...

Quote of the month:

"Why plough doggedly through an indifferent book, when you know you'll die leaving so many great books unread?"
-Linley Boniface, Booknotes, 161, Autumn 2008.

This quote is a slice of perceptive genius, and for a bookworm like myself, something of a manifesto. Why read dross when there is so much gold out there? My bookshelf is half full of books I haven't quite found the time to read yet. Books like The Handmaid's Tale by my beloved Margaret Atwood; The great classic War and Peace; Wild Swans by Jung Chang... the list goes on and numbers up into the thirties. It's not that I don't read, I most certainly do (studying literature at Masters level does require a modicum of reading after all) but my buying of books that I "must have" seems to outstrip my current reading rate! I do, after all, aspire to the likes of Peter Lineham who had to have the foundations of his house strengthened to accomodate his book collection.

In any case, this quote was a good wake up call. There have been times when I have wasted HOURS over a book that I didn't really want to keep reading, but did for reasons that, given this new perspective, now escape me. The next time I find myself checking how many pages I have to go before the end (a sure sign that I'm not enjoying the book) I shall be setting it aside and picking up a book that truly deserves my attention.

Problem is... which one?

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