Bill Grimes in the New York Times this morning looks at a number of books that have recently come out that examine the meaning of books, their changing impact on readers over time and books different people feel impacted their lives. It is an interesting article. It is a sad reflection on life that speed to finish is a component I take into account when picking up a new book. As is noted in the article, prison and vacation make good readers and while I am thankfully unfamiliar with the former I am regrettably infrequently familiar with the latter. Vacation does represent the opportunity to make a big dent in the backlog and also to pick books that require a degree of concentration that 10 minutes before I nod off each night really can't support. But I still need to choose carefully, a few years ago I started Gotham which is a history of New York to 1900, and got through the first 600 pages but once I returned to real life it took me six months to finish the book.
We are about to go on vacation and I am currently honing my list. The Emperors Children or Jonathan Strange and Mr. Morrell (see backlog!) will probably be on the list but I also thought I would re-read The Good Soldier (Ford Maddox Ford) a book I haven't read for a long time. Happy readings.