I've not given up yet, but I have a strong sense that I'm not going to get The Museum of Innocence read by the time we set off for the Hajj, despite the abundant charms of Pamuk's narrative. I've thoroughly enjoyed every page I've read but have only managed a further ten since I last posted about it. Mind you, I have read the issue of Prog I was referring to from cover to cover (the article on the late Syd Barrett was particularly fascinating) and am making solid progress with the issue of the NYRB. I'm now re-reading a fascinating review of a recent biography of the American poet Wallace Stevens and wondering why I don't own a single volume by him. Must get hold of the relevant Library of America edition, which is a Collected if I'm not mistaken.
My plan is to go to Makkah carrying just Tariq Ramadan's excellent The Messenger: The Meanings of the Life of Muhammad for re-reading along with some of those little editions available of Al-Ghazzali meditating on various topics. In recent years I've discovered the pleasures and benefits of what might be termed reading for devotional purposes - another age-old cultural experience sadly neglected in our less-than-devotional age.