I seem to be reading a lot of books very badly of late, by which I mean
that I start a lot of books, read about 50-100 pages of them, and then lay them aside for several months, before trying to return to them. It depends
on the book, of course, but often it leaves me a little lost, having forgotten who’s who or some of the events that have happened, and I have
difficulty getting back into it. In extreme cases, this can lead me giving up on the book altogether.
What’s strange though recently is that I
seem to be doing this with the very books I’m enjoying. All three of the books I’ve probably liked most so far this year I’m still in the middle,
and two of them (Krasznahorkai’s The Melancholy of Resistance and Soderberg’s Doctor Glas) I’m realising I’m going to have to start over again if
I want to appreciate them properly. Partly I think this is a matter of my character, which is too puritan for such continual literary delights; partly
it’s because I’ve got so terribly many books on my shelves I want to read and at times I find it difficult to resist.
Anyway, I’ve been
making an effort to finish off a lot of books lately, and not to start too many; and, with my little book projects, I am hoping (forlornly, no doubt)
to force myself to read books one (or perhaps even as little as five) at a time.