Very gradually I’ve found my way in to some fiction, even to novels, again, after a long time doing without. It’s hard to account in clear terms for getting away from this kind of reading in the first place, and likewise hard to account for coming back to it. It’s not a matter of having time for it, exactly. This kind of reading — even (or so it often felt) when it was reading that had to be done for class — has always meant neglecting other business I should, on one ground or another, be about. But it is partly a matter of practical opportunity in a different way, since I’m terribly cautious these days about buying books on one hand, and on the other rarely now feel, and even more rarely follow, any inclination to poke around in a library. What’s had to happen is some alignment of two conditions, my minimal-effort access to free or very cheap stuff and my attraction to stories conceived & written more than a few generations ago. With the internet, of course, minimal-effort access to free or very cheap stuff covers a very wide range of stuff. And a lot of it, especially stuff more likely to be under copyright, is junk or appeals to quite specific sensibilities. Then there’s the great store of stuff that is no longer subject to copyright — if you want it. The missing connection has been in that I haven’t really wanted the older, uncopyrighted stuff for a while. Until recently. Thinking a bit, as I read, about why that is, what’s changed or is changing.

One Reply to “Reading”

  1. Aren’t there a decent amount of charity shops with book sections, or even secondhand bookstores (rare as these are becoming) in your locale? I tend to buy books for a few pounds each and then give them to friends or back into the charity shop.

    When I started my degree I thought that it wouldn’t be possible to read (and, more importantly, enjoy) fiction anymore. This because of all the academic philosophy I was reading, but later I found that reading fiction for pleasure actually helped my concentration levels when reading books for my masters.

    Anyway, I’d like to recommend Borderliners by Peter Høeg. One of the most interesting books I’ve read for some time. I’ve only just discovered it and him, but expect the book to reward multiple readings.

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