It’s become a standing rule in our household that no one exits the house without a book. Heaven help those who arrive bookless at an unscheduled cafe stop to find everyone else has brought something to read. And even if it’s a question of a quick car journey for a couple of miles, I regularly issue dire reminders about the undesirability of being stuck in a traffic jam without a good book.
And so none of us are capable of going anywhere without a good amount of reading material.
Packing for holidays is the worst manifestation. We’re not Kindle owners (though clearly would benefit from even one Kindle) and books outweigh clothes in the suitcases every time.
For Paris last week, I insisted we travelled hand luggage only, but was surprised I couldn’t pick up Youngest Daughter’s small bag. It transpired she’d packed enough books to keep herself occupied for a month rather than a two day excursion. But as she said, how could she possibly know in advance what she would feel like reading? Quite.
But I think I’ve surpassed myself today on a brief outing to a local cafe for a quiet read on my birthday. Himself asked me what I’d like to do to start the day, and I said I just wanted to finish my crime novel. No problem there. But finishing the novel would require a decision about what to read next. And how could I possibly know what I would feel like reading at that particular moment?
The sequel to the novel? Those interesting books I am currently seaming on the themes of risk, intuition, failure? An excellent study of semi-detached suburbia found and started in the reading room of The Leeds Library, and grist to my current work obsession with my suburban surroundings in Leeds? Or finishing Foucault’s Pendulum which has its turgid moments and consequently has suffered from frequent abandonment over the last six weeks?
Anyway, the moment for deciding has arrived. The choice is about to be made. I would love to say my feeling has it all sorted, but my customary indecision is still holding sway.