Thanks to the Internet and the diminished attention span it has given me, I don’t read books with as much urgency and frequency as I used to. I read, but it’s mostly ephemeral articles about ephemeral things or memorable articles about memorable things, but either way they are not Books and part of me feels guilty about abandoning one of our most ancient forms of entertainment. Invisible Man is forever linked to hot summer mornings in our stuffy North Kingstown townhouse, my feet planted on some spot on the bedroom wall as I lay upside down reading the ‘Battle Royal’ scene and feeling my entire worldview shifting irreparably.
So this summer has been interesting.
I’ve bought more books than I ever have before in my entire life*, partly on the principle that I should start owning books that I profess to love and mostly because it’s too late to get a library card here. So I bought Invisible Man and A Visit from the Goon Squad at Busboys and Poets and I bought Freedom this past spring and I bought The Marriage Plot. And I bought Sag Harbor and I bought House of Mirth and I bought Uwem Akpa’s book of short stories when I walked into a used bookstore one Saturday.
As you can see, my literary tastes skew towards ‘The Big Literary Books of Two or Three Years ago.” That’s how I like it though. You read the book and then you read the fuss surrounding them all in one sitting and you can take it in coolly, rationally and see how it all turned out. Each of the books I bought I had wanted to read and I expected them to be good. I managed to get exactly 12/13 through each book before something else, namely the Internet, made me put the books down prematurely. Read the rest of this entry »