The Reading List

There is no hiding the fact that I love print. The touch, the smell, the different grades of paper, and over time I have acquired quite a collection. However the act of reading is another story. I love to read, to learn and to escape, to go on experiences and enter the minds of characters, people, times and cultures. However it seems my habits of acquiring have surpassed those of reading and as I looked over my bookshelf which lost a sense of order a long time ago, and hence the piles of books which now tower like cityscapes all over my floor and pianotop, it is definitely time to realise that action needs to be taken.

And so begins the Reading List! Time to remind myself why I love books in the first place, not because of the typeset or binding or oh-my-gosh-this-is-a-first-edition-of-Charlie-and-the-Chocolate-Factory, but because of the ideas, worlds, complexities and joys they hold. I have acquired so many books which I have either read the first chapters of only to, for some reason, not pick it up again, or almost reached the end only to find that by the time I come back to it I’ve lost the train of thought or I’ve forgotten it just as quickly as I’d acquired it. I don’t think I would be successful to aim for a book a week, like the very inspiring and dedicated Natasha, however I will quietly keep this as my aim. In the picture above is just one of my many stacks.

This week I read: Breath by Tim Winton. Recommended by Gemma. Breath has always seemed natural, but in this book it is heavy. It is an inhibition of life rather than its fuel – it is not a given, but a tool for manipulation, an experience sold on the black market, sourced from the deepest caves of emotion and harvested at all other costs. Beautifully written, this book was like going for a dive down into the deepest waters in an ocean of angst, jealousy and pain that is the human condition and surfacing between the zones of sanity, fearlessness and memory. Frustratingly simple and raw in some parts, and frustratingly complex in others, there was no sense of a happy ending, only a sigh and a croak in the dead of night when the wind is so cold that it makes your nose run.