A Week With Words (2)

Last week I was bemoaning the fact that I had not done any reading on Thursday and Friday. Well, almost; thankfully, opening E M Forster’s Maurice on Friday night saved me. This week, I must bemoan my lack of progress on the book I am writing. Nothing since Monday.

The problem has been discouragement as a result of a difficult chapter. I have had time to return to it but always managed to use it up on other things. Will I be brave enough to open MS Word before Monday? We’ll see.

***

As for reading – that has gone swimmingly. I am now over halfway through Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones ‘Mad About the Boy’, Noelle Adams’ Easier to Run (which stories I will return to in my next post), and Tim Moore’s Spanish Steps.

I am enjoying all three, although I have to admit Mad About The Boy has been giving me some cause for concern. Not for the quality of the writing but dear Bridget can cross that line between endearingly silly and just plain stupid, sometimes.

***

Actually, Mad About The Boy is not the only book causing me concern. So is David Hogarth’s Accidents of an Antiquary’s Life.

In fairness, I should rephrase that. AAL is not causing me concern – the way in which I am reading it is.

For I am not reading Accidents in the straight forward way I am reading the other books, but as part of a project (apologies if you know this already) to learn more about Hogarth.

As a result, every time Hogarth mentions a date, I open up Notes on my iPad and jot both it and the associated event down.

In consequence of this, I am reading as little as five pages a time in the twenty minutes I allocate to each reading session.

At some point, I am going to either give more time to AAL or else be more strict about what I stop to write down. What to do? I absolutely don’t want to compromise on the jotting down: by the time I finish all of Hogarth’s published works, I’d like to have a timeline of his life before me.

There’s nothing else for it – I shall have to give more time to his books. At the moment, though, I am already reading Spanish Steps for fifty minutes a day and I don’t think I can spare the same for another book. When I am finished with Tim Moore, therefore, David Hogarth will take his place.

In case you are wondering why I am reading Spanish Steps for that extra amount of time – I’m reading the book for a Book Club.

***

On 12th March, Terry Pratchett died. Twitter can be a horrendous place sometimes with its ‘twittermobs’, trolls and generally nasty behaviour, but really came good in the way it provided a place for many people to express their sadness, respect, love for and – I think it is fair to say – devotion to Pratchett. He was clearly a fine writer and man.

For my part, I read the tweets with detachment as I have never read any of Pratchett’s books. Not yet, anyway. Three and a half years ago, I was leant a copy of The Colour of Magic by my former manager. We met up last Christmas and I admitted I still hadn’t read it. Afterwards, I put the book on my queue to make sure I didn’t forget it again. Pratchett’s death is a reminder of the shortness of time so I shall commit myself to beginning it once I have finished Spanish Steps.

Terry Pratchett – Requiescat in Pace

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