The Fibro is a house of books. Lots and lots of books. One enormous industrial bookshelf housing books with which I cannot part. A former-shop cabinet in my study housing reference books of varying quality – though I did get rid of ‘When Pets Come Between Partners’ before we moved. One unit that used to live in the Kiama Post Office, now painted green and housing children’s books, mostly tattered. One shelf in Mr3’s room, overflowing with books about cars, trucks and motorbikes.
To sum up, we’re never short of something to read around here.
What I’ve realised recently, however, is how few books I’ve actually read. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a demonic and voracious reader, known to devour books in a matter of minutes. But I’ve missed a lot of good ones.
So I’ve set out to rectify the matter. Last week I read Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons. And loved it. This week, I’ll be looking at Love In A Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford (I’m sensing a theme here – clearly I’m ready to leave summer behind). In essence, I’ve decided to read my way through some (and there are many) of the Popular Penguin books – as a bonus, I’ll get a great collection of orange-and-white covers for my many bookshelves. Perhaps not the right motivation, but you take what you can get, right? And with 75 new titles to choose from, I’ll never be short a classic again.
That said, there are books on my shelves unread or unfinished. I never made it through Buddhism For Mothers: A calm approach to caring for yourself and your children by Sarah Napthali, though my sister C thinks it should be on my must-read list. (I did, however, read Buddhism For Sheep and enjoyed it immensely.)
Most of what’s on the unread shelf, however, is writing books. I buy writing books and then never read them. Why do I do this? Probably because I hope that each one will contain the miracle (The Secret?) that will magic a book out of thin air for me. Then I crack open the book, read the first few pages, and realise that, at the end of the day, reading about writing isn’t going to get my book written. So I stop. And I write instead.
The one book I did make it through, in one sitting, was Stephen King’s On Writing. The man is so good he can even make a page-turner out of how to write a page-turner. If you are an aspiring writer, or would even just like some idea of what makes a writer tick, read this book.
And when you’re finished, please come over and write my book for me. I’ll be busy reading.