Wednesday, 27 April 2011

The Beginning

Have you ever been accused of being well read, and then blushed because you know that you are not?  I have.

But what I decided was that instead of just pretending to be well read, or biting the bullet and telling the truth about not being well read at all, I would get that list-of-books-to-read-before-I-die and start ticking some of them off.

Now, I've discovered that I'm fairly adept at writing a book review, which made me think that it might be a productive and useful thing to do to blog about my mission to become well read.  I could, here, tell you about the books that I read as I go along, and you could, there, marvel at my consistent misunderstanding of characters and plots, and be astounded at my inability to grasp the simplest of issues raised by authors, and my shocking ineptitude when it comes to spotting the ending of the story that everyone else figures out well before the last page.

At the moment I am reading Harry Potter.  I have allowed myself this treat before getting down to the big business of reading some long ignored classics.   And I will have to punctuate such master works as The Pickwick Papers, and the Diaries of Samuel Pepys, with treats by Terry Pratchett and others of my favourites to keep me going.  That's not to say that I expect the process of becoming well read to be a dull one that requires the reader to be given literary snacks along the way; not at all.  Rather that I expect some of the books I choose to be a little... heavy, shall we say, and that I will need to re-stretch my attention span with some lighter bites (sorry, very mixed metaphors there!).  I'm not a genius you see, so I cannot keep up relentless cleverness for months on end - I must be allowed to have time to not think.

Here is my bookcase:

These are not quite all of my books, because I couldn't fit them in the photo.
Also, sorry about the quality of the photo, the light is bad in my dining room.

Over 500 books here, collected over roughly twenty years.  Lots of them have been read, but not nearly as many as should have been read.  Shocking waste of money, or an investment?  Well, at the moment even I would admit that I have wasted my money shockingly.  Time to turn that waste into something more valuable though, time to invest in myself actually.

My MA in English begins in October, and there is much reading to be done before then.  I don't have to have read all of my set books by then, but wouldn't it be great if I had?  Oh yes.  And I might not understand a word of the books - one of them, which I'm already reading in the odd spare minute during the day, is pretty tricky: Genesis, from the Bible.  I barely understand a word, but that's exactly why I have to read the books soon, so that when it's time to read them and write about them for my assignments I will be reading them for the second time and might stand a chance of grasping a little meaning from them.

So, here begins the journey of the little girl who wanted to explore the world from the comfort of her own armchair because she could not afford the airfare.