Today, I am prepared to show my ignorance to the world and to seek your advice on how to remedy my sad situation.
In the words of the great Eddie Izzard, I suspect that rather than being widely read, I am in fact, thinly read. I know part of the reason for this; you see I am a re-reader. If I like a book, I'll read it several times over the years. I love re reading a book. It's like visiting old friends, catching up on the gossip and finding that, in a comforting way, nothing has changed. Some books don't stand the test of time and when you return you wonder why you liked them to start with, but most are just as good second time round.
I'll put it another way. If you ate chocolate for the first time, and found it delicious, you wouldn't refuse to eat it ever again because you know what it tastes like. No, you'd go back for more. Well, that's what I do with books.
It frequently occurs to me how much else I might have read if only I didn't read the same books over and over. There's a lot of misspent reading time in my past. Then it occurs to me how many of the 'great authors' I have never even touched, because I was busy reading my favourite authors all over again. So this is where you come in. Here are some authors I have NEVER read and my pathetic reasons why; tell me, faithful blogging companions, should I read any of them? What am I missing?
Tolstoy - the books look so heavy - literally. I'm not sure I could actually take the physical strain of reading them.
Salman Rushdie - the man is prolific, I'll give him that, but are his books any good or just published becasue of the Fatwah and only read by people who eat at Nigella's house.
Kafka - now, did he write The Unbearable lightness of being? If he did then I have read that, but if he didn't then I have read nothing by him.
James Joyce - I did once start Ulysses but my brain exploded and I fell asleep with the weariness of the worlds that fell on my shoulders during Chapter 1, so I did not persevere. Did I miss out?
Emily Dickinson & Sylvia Plath - I put them together because I've read neither and for the same reason. To me (who has never read them!) they give off a rather depressing vibe of female angst and misery. It's not appealing but I am basing my opinion on very little other than third hand opinions (probably of people who have also not read them). Give me some first hand feedback. I know someone out there has read them.
Tom Stoppard - now it's decidedly odd that I have never read any Stoppard as I love his screenplays and the way he writes. Despite this I never pick up his books. This is, I think, because I am worried that I won't like them as much as his plays and films, and then I'll be cross. Am I right to worry?
Tolkein - I am reading Lord of the Rings, but only when I stay with one particular friend in London who has a copy by the Guest Bed. This means that in three years I have only got as far as chapter 4. It's slow progress. I don't actually own the book myself and I keep resisting buying it. I just don't know whether this is the wise decision of one not swayed with Tolkein fever, or the sign of an idiot missing out on one of the all time great storytellers.
Who else have I missed of this list? I'm so badly read I can't even tell you.
The price of health
12 hours ago