Desperate Reader is two years old today which has caused a moment’s reflection on my part. Last year I talked about what a great thing blogging has been for me, how many lovely people I’ve met, the new ideas it’s introduced me to, the cakes baked – all of which is still very much true. I’ve also read a lot of books I wouldn’t have without the self imposed discipline of sharing my thoughts about them which is probably the best thing of all (wonderful people excepted).
It’s not that I read more now than I did before but that I had fallen into a terrible habit of not finishing things. The combination of no longer being able to afford much of a social life and realising that second hand books aren’t necessarily disgustingly defiled objects impregnated with mildew, crumbs, and terrifyingly unidentifiable stains has helped me reconnect with a never very dormant passion for reading and it helps me get through the day just as it did when I was a child/misunderstood (because aren’t they all) teen.
I could wish for a more fulfilling and better remunerated job (I could even apply for one but the pay off would be to lose the security of the position I have and when I consider that it doesn’t look so bad) but however ambivalent I might feel towards my day job at the end of a particularly trying shift knowing that I can escape into a book until I’m fit company for civilised people again – well it’s rather marvellous.
If there has been a reading highlight of the last year that particularly stands out it’s finally getting round to Trollope, I’m 7 books in with dozens left to explore and though I’ve undoubtedly read better individual books I don’t think anything else has bought the same feeling of overall satisfaction or the feeling of being on the threshold of a long and satisfying relationship.
Anyway enough of that, I have fresh fruit that needs to be turned into preserved fruit before it turns itself into rotten fruit, possibly a cake to bake, defiantly a herring to deal with or my flat will stink in a way that not even a very good book will allow me to escape from, and celebratory new books to squeeze onto a shelf (somehow). I’ve been pretty sure for a while that Oxford World Classics exists just to make me happy – if further confirmation were needed it arrived today in the form of a totally unexpected book that looks both short and improving (the best kind?). Whatever saint or deity oversees the discovery of old green Virago’s smiled on me today as well when I found this little haul in an Oxfam, and I think I did okay out of Waterstone’s current 3 for 2 fiction deal at the weekend when I came away with one book I’ve wanted for a while, one I would have wanted if I knew it existed before, and a Walter Scott who may well turn out to be the new Trollope.