Friday, February 11, 2005

i can't read

Anyone else go through spells when you just can't finish reading a book? It's not that my desire to read books has gone, nor that I haven't the time (two hours on the train every day gives ample opportunity), just that I'm feeling profoundly fickle and keen to be reading six books at a time. Which is all very well but when most of your books are out of the library you get locked into an endless cycle of missing due dates, block renewing and endless carting around of back-breakingly heavy bags stuffed full of barely thumbed paperbacks.

To recap.

Books I've started since Xmas:
Francis Wheen - How Mumbo-jumbo Conquered the World: A Short History of Modern Delusions
Michael Palin - Himalaya
Agatha Christie - The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Kingsley Amis - Ending Up
Steve Mithen - After the Ice: A global human history, 20,000-5,000 BC
Iain M. Banks - The Algebraist

Embarrasingly, I've only finished the Agatha Christie one, and largely only because it only took a few hours to read and copping out half way through would have been a bit pathetic. I am, I should add, making great strides with the Amis, and not doing badly with After the Ice, given that it's 726 pages. All the same...

Am determined not to start Philip Roth's The Plot Against America until I've finished at least two of the above. I'm not hopeful. My concentration has just gone; as soon as I start one book I lose the thread, get distracted, start other things, forget where I am...

17 comments:

Tim said...

For the last two Christmases I've taken Rebecca West's Black Lamb and Grey Falcon with me, determined to get it finished in the usual Christmas downtime. After 18 months I'm still only 2/3rds through it.

And it's a really good book!

Ben said...

I know what you mean. I experimented with having three or four on the go at once, but couldn't manage it. I've gone back to one at a time, not allowing myself to start something else before I've finished what I'm currently reading.

The Francis Wheen book is one of many sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read - had a bit of a non-fiction-buying session after Christmas so I can try to alternate between that and novels for a bit of variety.

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