Sunday, 29 July 2007

A Lazy Summer Day Reading

Summer should be an opportunity to read a book in the shade from the hot, hot sun. But this year that just seems like a forgotten dream.
I see that Jenny has almost finished reading R F Delderfield's "To Serve Them All My Days". A beautiful tale. A really good read in 1972. I revisited it recently for book club. I found it long and slow. It may be due to the fact I knew the story so well. I also assume that as the pace of life has increased it is harder to slow down to that quieter time in the early 1970's and take in a long leisurely descriptive read. I seem to have lost the knack lately of immersing myself completely in a long tome. I remember in the 1970's talking to an older woman who never read a book a second time "life's too short" and I couldn't believe it. I just couldn't understand how if you have enjoyed a book then why not re-read it and savour it a second time. She would also refuse to finish a book if she was not enjoying it. Again I used to read on all the way to THE END - regardless. But now I've turned into an older woman. I understand exactly what she means. I don't think the books have changed but I have.

6 comments:

Flowerpot said...

I quite agree. I used to plough on till the end till I went to a writers conference where an agent said there were far too many books to be read to waste time on ones she didn't enjoy. Absolutely! I've just read Libby Purves, Love Songs and Lies which was agood fast read though I got irritated with the heroine, and A Spot of bother by Mark Haddon which I thought was brilliant.

The thinker said...

Thanks Flower, I'm a fan of Libby too - have read and enjoyed many of her books.

Jennyellen said...

I finally finished To Serve Them All My Days (full review to come on my blog in the next day or so) and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It did take a long time to complete it and I think you might be right about it being written about a slower time of life. But we could all stand to slow down a little in this day and age I think.

I am also not much for re-reading books. Usually my overwhelming pile of unread books keeps from going back and reading something over again. But I have done it on occasion with some beloved books (Little Women comes to mind).

And I have FINALLY gotten to the point where I don't feel the need to finish every book I start if I am really not enjoying it. Life is, after all, too short!

The thinker said...

Hello jennyellen - thanks for calling in - will keep an eye open and look forward to reading your review.

Around My Kitchen Table said...

My trouble is that as I get older the more difficult I find it to remember whether I've read a book or not! I think this is a symptom of reading lots of "lightweight" psychological thrillers. I enjoy them at the time but they're not really deep enough to make a lasting impression. I recently read The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld, which is one of the better examples of the genre.

The thinker said...

AMKT - i know JUST what you mean - I once brought home from the library a Bill Bryson and as I started in to chapter 2 I kept experienceing a feeling of deja vu- then found I had a well thumbed copy on my bookshelf.