Friday, 1 January 2016

A Bit About Books.

It occurs to me that in the winter I only ever read by the fireside, and in the summer I only read in the garden. This suggests that, to me, the enjoyment of reading owes as much to ambient awareness as it does to the content of the book.

And I read tonight that Edgar Allan Poe was a man ahead of his time. He rejected the materialism so pre-eminent in American culture, and claimed that the supreme faculty of imagination was being eroded by the dominance of the marketplace mentality.

I wonder what he would have thought of Mrs Thatcher’s famous dictum: ‘There is no such thing as quality literature. There are books that sell and books that don’t.’ Same as me, I expect.

(Mrs Thatcher was known to get on well with Ronald Reagan – a fact that led me to suggest at the time that the main thing they had in common was both being bad actors – but the rumour that she was Donald Trump’s godmother is probably apocryphal. And I do wish we could find some way of separating present and past tenses of the verb 'to read.' If we can have 'lead' and 'led', why can't we have 'read' and 'red'? Homonyms are only comfortable when they're obvious.)

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