A few years ago spending a Friday night at home reading would have made me feel like a total loser. Not anymore.
This picture on Facebook this morning got me thinking and after this evening has matched my thoughts, exactly:-
And, it was quite appropriate because last night I picked up H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald again. I had started reading it a few months ago, but it is a slow read and I lent it to a friend (who was going away and who I knew would enjoy it). She has now returned it and I re-visited it this evening. It is a very different read and a book that you need to savour. Macdonald's writing and sentence structure are beautiful. I love the way she uses commas, and the way she keeps changing the length of her sentences. So clever.
There are many sentences and lines in this book and I am reading it, like I might Pat Conroy’s The Prince of Tides, slowly and staring at the wall (for a minute). It is my all-time favourite and the one book I have read far more than twice.
Here, please read this paragraph:-
“Her library would have been valuable to a bibliophile except she treated her books execrably. I would rarely open a volume that she had not desecrated by underlining her favourite sections with a ball-point pen. Once I had told her that I would rather see a museum bombed than a book underlined, but she dismissed my argument as mere sentimentality. She marked her books so that stunning images and ideas would not be lost to her.”
― Pat Conroy,
― Pat Conroy,
I have never done it, but I am tempted to start underlining some sentences in this book … His coat. An envelope. His watch. His shoes. And when we left, clutching a plastic bag with his belongings….
Oh my word…