Thursday, October 17, 2013

Quotes

Old schoolhouse, Sherkin Island, West Cork, Ireland.

Fans Any reader of my blog would know that I am a voracious reader. Not as voracious as some, other tasks/projects/ideas/commitments prevent that. Most of my good friends are readers. Most of my family too, come to think of it. We bond over books. Discuss books. Pass along books, quote to each other from books. My parents were good readers. There were always books in our home growing up. My mother adored Dickens. My father, for years, was a book-of-the-month- club kind of guy, and also regularly hauled home a pile of library books. Then more children appeared and he couldn't find the time, he told me. And teevee. Let's not forget that stranger in the living room. Kicked reading and socializing to the curb. More's the pity. A reading home rears reading children.

But us stubborns cling to the books and the discussions that move around them.

"I'm dying for you to read Wayne Johnston's new one," said my new friend yesterday. We are both fans of Wayne, it turns out. Except for his second to last. We both agreed it was a bit of a let down. Maybe he lost it.

NF couldn't contain herself. She was bursting with it:

"Oh I hated 'The Son of a Certain Woman' (his latest). I want you to read it. I want you to defend it. Prove me wrong."

Now, this is what I love about books. Passion. There's no in-between.

And a quote from my 2013 reading list?

Here it is. It's from "Martin Sloane" by Michael Redhill
P11-12 - "It's only when you're old enough to understand that the past is gone forever that you begin to store your own life."

I know my family and I felt that way this past summer. It was time for just our memories. The past was gone. It was time to open some new files. And we did. And we still talk about it.

14 comments:

  1. I wonder if you have come across another recent phenomenon. People go either for or against a book without reading it. We in India particularly are prone to this moral censorship which started its very public appearance with the banning of Salman Rushdie's Satanic Verses and continues with frequent agitations against other authors as well. Like you and friend could offend and defend after reading a book, why cannot these morons do the same? It is galling to find someone holding forth when it is obvious that he has not read the book but will defend some lunatic's opinion on it so that some screwball's sentiments are not hurt!

    Incidentally, I make it a point to buy in the black market all such banned books!

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  2. Greetings from the slowest reader on the planet. It was really brought home to me when a very young Elly said to me at bedtime reading: Oh mammy, give me the book and I will read it to you. I was at the end of the first paragraph and she was at the end of the page.

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  3. Ramana:

    Yes those types exist here too. Or the really lazy ones will ask you for a plot summary so they can avoid reading it themselves!

    XO
    WWW

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  4. Hi GM:

    It sounds like audio books would be your solution, then, do you do that?

    Great in the car also.

    XO
    WWW

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  5. I don't understand people who never read books. They must be afraid of their imagination, that something catastrophic will happen if they leave the real world behind for a while and enter a fictitious one.

    And yes, it always amazes me that people will vigorously attack some book they've never read and clearly have totally misunderstood. Can't they see how idiotic they're being?

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  6. Hello WWW, and Nick. Nick I do not read even one book a year now, when once I read three or four at a time, maybe taking 10 days to finish, maybe four, always slotting in a new one to replace the early finish.

    It is the greatest sadness of my life that I cannot read. (Well, deaths of loved ones apart...). I have had some kind of vision damage, and I think too, frontal lobe damage. I do so much appreciate the blogs, news online, places like The New Yorker which still print Alice Munros stories and Alice's work itself, pure genius, no fluff. I can almost read her as I used to read. So I am an English honours graduate, worked as a writer, editor, copy editor, et al other related jobs, and read read read. And here am I so envious of all you readers. I would follow you avidly if you would discuss the books you're reading. Sadly, I can't even remember much about any of the books I've read over the decades. I do recall if I enjoyed them, or admired the work, or not. Maybe I'm like the book review readers who decide on that if they will read, or heavens even ban, a book.

    I do recall Rummuser, not really *loving* Rushdie, as I did David Adams Richards, who knows why. I suspect it had more to do with what was familiar to me, but then again, I read read read the East Indian women disapora writers, and even some of the men. They were my last passion reads.

    Now I bring a book home and return it unread. I frequent the library out of habit. It's awful. I feel like a concert pianist who has played Carnegie, forgetting how to play piano. Shoot me.

    Very grateful for this blog.

    xxx

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  7. I'm fascinated by the opening of new files WWW. I hope you may write more about this.

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  8. Reading and discussing books is one of my greatest pleasures. Wish we lived next door to one another!

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  9. Thanks to you and your sidebar book list, I can always find inspiration for my reading list.

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  10. Nick:

    I never understand that either. I think the world of the imagination is so incredible. I get to live 1000s of lives in my lifetime!!

    XO
    WWW

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  11. Anon:

    As mentioned to Grannymar, I do hope you manage audio books. I can't imagine what life is like for you without the ability to read. I hope other charms and delights fill this void in some way.

    XO
    WWW

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  12. Anon 2:

    yes, I will do that. thanks for the suggestion.

    XO
    WWW

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  13. Pauline:

    Oh I would truly like that! You would fit in very well with our bookclub too!!

    XO
    WWW

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  14. Thank you Pamela, maybe you could recommend some also?

    XO
    WWW

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