It has recently occurred to me that I am pressing on in years. Since I turned 37 I have begun to measure my life in reading capacity, and each day takes me closer to that great library in the sky. I scan the unread classics and literary greats in my bookcases and know that there are too few hours in the day to do them all justice.
My musings have resulted in disappointment which borders on anger when I waste precious hours on a bad book. The most recent offering from Jilly Cooper, formerly one of my guilty pleasures, left me aghast and temporarily speechless. I didn’t get past the first 100 pages, but that could still have amounted to 10 pages of a great book instead.
On the other hand, when I discover an amazing new author with a weighty back catalogue, I am excited at the prospect of so much new material, tempered with the stress of having to find even more time to schedule in. Margaret Forster’s Mothers’ Boys has been one of my highlights this year so imagine my ecstatic dismay when I found she had banked another 24 works of fiction.
When I discussed my longevity in terms of reading material with my husband he suggested I would benefit from book rehab. It didn’t register at the time as I was engrossed in the last 20 pages of Girl With A Pearl Earring, but when it sank in I was chilled at the thought. A clinic full of literary types deprived of their drug of choice. Could you imagine a more disagreeable group? How would they get to sleep at night? What would they do in the quiet moments between mealtimes and therapy? Perhaps someone should write a book about it......