What I Think About When I Think About Reading
Inexplicable though it may seem, I spent the whole of 1992 as a singleton. It wasn't intentional but by the month of May I was rather enjoying it and by October it had become a challenge to reach the end of the year without collapsing into coupledom (I managed it, dear reader, but only just. 1993 was enormous fun!)
One of the advantages of having more spare time than usual was that I read. A lot. I had always devoured books - the 1984 Easter holidays were spent not revising for O levels but lost in Tolkien. But 1992 saw the literature levels turned up to eleven.
As I lived in Battersea, I spent the summer weekends going to the park and spending hours deep in the pure bliss of a novel. Often I would get through one a day.
I gorged on classics, modern and not so modern. I grew to love Plath, Amis, Bronte (E), McEwan and Banks. I dived into Parker (D), Thompson (Hunter S), Barnes, Murakami, Dostoevsky, Leonard, Auster and many others in an attempt to make myself more interesting.
It didn't work, of course, and I remain irrepressibly drab and awful but I do believe that those of us who read are, in general, better people to be around. I once asked a senior colleague what he was reading, and when he replied that he "didn't have time to read", I knew that we would struggle to get along. I was right.
I have just finished the wonderful 'A Little Life' by Hanya Yanagihara, a book so extraordinary that it made me cry. Twice. But I'm going on holiday in a couple of weeks so will need more recommendations. Do please send.......