Now that February is more than half over, it seems the theme is finishing books that I started months or years ago. In most cases, the books were not finished because the library disappeared them from my kindle–sometimes as I was reading. Paper addicts would probably see this as a sign of dead tree superiority, after all, librarians don’t have the time to swing by your house and snatch books out of your hands. However, I compared the amount spent on books in 2009 (pre-kindle) and the amount spent in 2014 (kindle + library), and the actual number is too embarrassingly large to post here, even though no one except my future self will read this. Future Self, don’t be too hard on Past Self! She didn’t know. But, to be completely honest, I did know. Every time I move, I lose a library (and I move a lot).
My description of Ready Player One as a collection of pop culture references attempting to be prose, and now that I’ve made it from 20% to 100%, it’s that plus sexist nerd wish-fulfillment. My Cousin Rachel is so good, but it’s the kind of writing that makes me feel bad about being a bad writer, which must be the reason I didn’t finish it before. Playback is definitely the weakest of the Marlowe novels–a first draft written in grief and alcohol.
An elderly woman on the train was offended by The Possibility of an Island–I can be a little oblivious when reading, so I hadn’t noticed that she’d got out her reading glasses and was staring at my screen until she started to complain. Too much pussy for 7 in the morning, so I put it away, and by the afternoon, it had returned to the library. It’s going to take me years to find out how the smug & annoying “comedian” becomes a smug & annoying clone–I started reading it in 2013. A friend had sent it to me because I’d loved The Map and the Territory, but I was too busy studying Japanese and writing about DI Lestrade to read it. And, the real problem is that it was a book. An actual paper book. They’re not only bulky, but it’s far too easy to leave paper books on the train, on the bus, in a taxi, etc. I left it in all those places, and then when it was time to leave Japan, it stayed on the bookshelf next to Nancy Mitford and a volume of Gintama.