After struggling – for I don’t know how long – with Dickens’ Little Dorrit I decided that I want to enjoy the books I read after all. A few weeks back, I questioned the purpose of reading, and I asked: is it wrong to read only for entertainment or enjoyment or escapism? But I realise now that those sorts of questions were the wrong ones to ask. Because even though I do read for enjoyment and escapism, I still want to savour books. So I’m putting Dorrit away for another day, when I’m prepared to digest it.
I seem to have a Dickens allergy or some sort of Dickensphobia. It’s not that his books are particularly difficult. In fact, he’s not even remotely intimidating. He just bores me. At first I was ashamed to admit it – he is, after all, considered one of the Masters. Now? I gaze at my stack of to-be-read books and wonder how I could have wasted so many hours half-heartedly dragging my eyes over the pages of Little Dorrit.
December is decidedly the best month on the calendar- it’s high summer; the days are long, and the nights sultry. There’s an unmistakeable air of festivity and high-spirits, and paradoxically, of relaxation. It’s the best month to simply read. And I’ve got some great books lined up for the next few weeks.
On my shelf is Ondaatje’s latest – Divisadero – as well as two of Gaskell’s novels. For the Really Old Classics project, I’ll be reading Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and from my Summer Reading list, I’ve decided to peruse the pages of Somerset’s Ladies in Waiting: From the Tudors to the Present Day, Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth and One Hundred Years of Solitude by Marquez. Oh, and maybe some Wodehouse. As for the ‘9 Books in 2009’ challenge, I haven’t yet decided which book I’ll be starting with, but I’m thinking Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles.