Friday, February 12, 2016

Something Of Weight

I'm so thoroughly enjoying reading Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries that I'll be sorry to finish. Mind you, I've still got 200 or so pages to go, so it's going to be some little while before all the delicious mysteries of the plot are clarified - assuming that they will be, that is. But I'm almost embarrassed to admit that there're other reasons for my enjoyment of the novel not directly related to the wonders of its composition.

The physical pleasure of holding the book is such a distinct part of the experience of reading it that it would be dishonest not to own up to it. I suppose this is akin to the enjoyment people get from their smart phones on the level of the phones being appealingly designed objects with an aesthetically pleasing dimension to their usage. (That's something I've never felt myself but I'm guessing based on the way people seem to give themselves up in acts of abject surrender to the enchantment of their phones.) The paperback edition of The Luminaries I'm reading has a beautifully apt cover and it's satisfyingly solid as an object, though at the same time being easy to open and read, without breaking its spine, despite its 800+ pages. I've always enjoyed the physical act of reading, but I don't remember the paperbacks of my youth - which often fell apart in the process of being read - being quite so attractive as the ones the publishers come up with these days.

Oh, and it smells good too.

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