Thursday, 5 March 2015
Too many books,
I used to be an avid reader, getting through two or more books each week. It started way back when I was but a lad working my way through Biggles, Jennings, Swallows and Amazons, the Famous Five and so on. Of course, when I was working, I used to enjoy a train ride to work lasting about an hour and a half - and another hour and a half coming home. Granted, that was only for the last 14 years of my working life, and I must also admit that I spent a fair bit of the train journey asleep. All the same, I still managed to fit in a fair bit of reading.
I have never managed to work out why it is that, since I retired, I have almost no time at all to pick up a book. I know that work expands to fill the time available - and I suppose that I now spend much more time attached to the Internet. But all the same, there are still so many books I want to read.
Some how or other I seem to have missed out on a lot of the so-called classics. Do you know, it was only when it was announced recently that another novel by Harper Lee is to be published that I realised I have never read Mocking Bird? That said, there are plenty of "classics" that I have tried and given up on. I did start Cannery Row but just couldn't seem to take it in. That is what i find with so many modern novels. Yes, I know that Cannery Row was published 70 years ago, but it's still relatively modern.
To me, Steinbeck and his ilk are the literary equivalent of Picasso, whose paintings leave me completely cold. I just don't understand them. Give me a Turner, Constable or Monet any day!
I will quite happily read books by many modern authors, authors who are still living and writing. But they don't try to be clever, they just write what I call good yarns. They tell stories. And that is what we humans have been doing since Adam was a boy.
It's just a pity that I can't find the time for more of them.