Confession time: I’ve been reading a book for almost a year. Well perhaps not quite that long, but it does feel that way.
I actually packed it when me and my lady went to Italy in July, and I remember doing that so I would make some serious headway in reading it – you know, read, enjoy, repeat. So I feel as though I must have been ‘reading’ it before that.
‘Reading’ in the sense that I read the first few pages, applied a bookmark, and then applied the book to the bedside. Occasionally the book moved about the flat, but I’d rarely delve into it.
And so to Italy it flew. And then one week, a few pages and the occasional shift from our hotel room to the poolside later, it flew back with us.
Yes my progress has been appalling, but I’m still ‘reading’ it. And somehow, somehow(!) I find myself 340-odd pages in and nearing the ending around the 490 mark.
In those 340 pages I’ve understood that the book is good, and I’ve had an appreciation of the surface experience. That’s because – I suppose – we have it within us to appreciate some of a thing without experiencing its deeper nature. Hearing but not listening, looking but not seeing, reading but not reading.
What a sad state…
Anyway, clearly I’d not been reading enough to fully immerse myself in the abundance the book contains. Rich characters, playfully wound threads which delight and intrigue. And the core tantalising magical mystery.
Very clearly I’d not been reading enough, because this morning I stormed through forty pages stood-up on a train into London. My complete unadulterated focus was with it. Leaving balance and remaining upright in the hands of my subconscious, I was absorbed.
At my stop I had to rip myself away to find the underground. Then, from London bridge to Euston, I stuck my head back in and continued to be enthralled. As I’m typing the title sits behind my laptop waiting to be read again. And I can’t wait.
It feels great to read it, because I do actually love such stories and the shot of imagination. Had I forgotten? I’m not sure how. Perhaps I’ll think on that as I read some more.
The important thing is that as it turns out, 340-odd pages in I’m hooked. I feel terrible about not being hooked earlier, but hooked I am all the same.
And a good thing. This is a novel my lady loves, and which she recommended to me as a stunningly imaginative and beautifully descriptive read. She was right, though of course I’ve come to realise it a little late.
So yes, this is a blog to simply confess to my reading misdeeds (my mis-reads?). The fact I’ve bought several books this year makes it all the more tragic a state.
Yet I can feel the momentum building; the slight thrill and fear that comes from steaming towards a finale. One you fear will come too soon, or too abruptly, or too unsatisfactorily, but one you must reach.
And then on to the next one.