Friday, December 16, 2016


Who would have thought it? I spent an hour in England's premier bookshop, the branch along Charing Cross Road, and emerged bookless (and DVD-less and CD-less, a point worth mentioning since they sell quite a number of tasty items in those domains.) Why so?

One factor involved was a degree of caution as to overloading our luggage on the way back. In truth though I could easily have purchased quite a few books or disks without creating a problem. No, the key factor related to the fact that I will be able to get hold of the most enticing items perused on-line if I really feel the need to and I still have quite a bit I need to do justice to before expanding the range of stuff I really must read, watch or listen to.

A simple example of this: I'm less than a quarter of the way into Daniel Deronda and I'm wary of being distracted from my reading by anything that might seem more accessible (like Andrew Motion's biography of Keats a tome I've been seeking out for the longest time and found enticingly in Foyles.) It's proving a tough read, though I'm beginning to get a sense of its rewards.

The younger me was a happily promiscuous reader; the older self recognises a need for focus and discipline, a need that can so easily be compromised by abundance. Wasn't life so much easier when there was so much less available?

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