Sunday, 17 August 2014

WordPress: Off the Shelf

Take a look at your bookcase. If you had enough free time, which book would be the first one you’d like to reread? Why?


First of all, which bookcase do you mean? I have one large selection in the living room and six in the hobby room, most books have been read. When Mrs. Angloswiss decided to move in with Mr. Swiss there was a small problem. Combining our lives was easy, but finding where to put our books was not. Even our tastes were similar. What I had in English, he often had in German. The life of Michelangelo by Irving Stone was on the shelf titled The Agony and the Ecstasy together with “Inferno und Ekstase”, the German edition.

I do not do rereads with one exception. There might be a discussion about a book on a literature web site where I belong. If I had already read the book, I do a reread because I generally devour books and forget the details over time so I have to refresh. Otherwise I am more interested in reading what I have left out in life. I often read an English classic that we had at school, for the reason that at school I did not pay attention and the enjoyment was spoilt by writing about it from a certain character’s point of view: although they never asked to describe what Sydney Carton felt when he was guillotined in Charles Dickens “Tale of Two Cities“. Shame really I would have painted a very colourful picture of having my head landing in a basket after being separated from my body and seeing the French peasants knitting whilst looking on. I think the teacher would not have appreciated my gift for reality writes.

I read on average 1-2 books weekly, according to whether they capture my interest or not. I do not have a bookcase containing my books. The real books with paper and covers are only now for ornamentation. I have been there and read most of them. I am a Kindler, I have a Kindle app on my iPad and now I sit comfortably in a chair in the evening with a handy flat packed plastic book, illuminated by a mysterious background light and turn the pages by sliding my finger over them. I have no time for nostalgic thoughts on the good old books. I do not have room for books, the shelves are bursting at the seams. As an overworked housewife, I am glad to say I no longer have to dust the shelves or the books: just wipe the iPad screen now and again and liberate it from finger prints.

I am a gifted reader, a genius and am again showing a modest characteristic. I can read in German and English which is an advantage. It is wonderful to read German literature in original texts and to discover the new German authors, some of which are not yet translated into English. It is also an advantage with Scandinavian books. They are generally translated into German before English, so I read it before it even starts to climb the New York times bestseller list. I like to keep up with the newest developments. I very much keep an eye on what is new in the world of literature. I often do not know what to read next and find that is helps if something new arrives. If the price is right, I download it. Sometimes I download it even if the price is not right, if it appeals.

I am also a member of Amazon. Admittedly there is a lot of rubbish offered as a free download or half price, but now and again there is a gem to be pounced on. In Facebook I am on the receiving list for free Amazon offers and somehow I am now in an Amazon special offer group. My latest success was downloading part 1 of the Century Trilogy of the Ken Follett successful novels,”Fall of the Giants” free of charge. I was so taken with this book, the clear political explanations of the First World War, and the families involved spanning England, Russia, Germany and the States, that I immediately downloaded Part 2 “Winter of the World” building up to the Second World War and afterwards. The families involved are the same and now in the second generation. This book is a masterpiece. I always appreciated the works of Ken Follett. I had to pay for part 2, but Kindle books are reasonable.

Another bargain I once snapped, I think it was a Christmas deal from Amazon, was The Leopard by the Norwegian criminal author Jo Nesbo which was also free. I am a fan of Harry Hole (the Norwegian police chief created by Jo Nesbo) as well as Kurt Wallender (the Swedish police officer created by Henning Mankell). I know them all, but now I stop. This is the danger of such a prompt, that I fill your eyes with books that I read and like, but probably you are not so interested.

We all have our own tastes. Give me a book that I can s="ink into, live in its world and mix with the characters and I am happy: one of the reasons why I rarely concentrate on a television programme. If Mr. Swiss is away for the evening I do not even attempt to switch the television on, I have no interest: give me a good book any time.

And now to finish this boring prompt and read a good book. Let’s see – yes, page 115 of 819 pages of “Winter of the World”. Life is never boring with a book Kindle.

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1 comment:

  1. I still prefer 'real' books. Which is odd, considering I'm usually in favour of modern technology. That said, I read a lot less than I used to.