Tub o' Books. The First.

I recently renewed my acquaintance with Nick Hornby. You may know NIck from the book or movie "High Fidelity," but I first knew him from his series of book reviews in the Believer Magazine. At the library yesterday, I found the ultimate collection: Nick Hornby, Ten Years in the Tub: a Decade Soaking in Great Books. An introduction by Jess Walter fittingly summarizes ideas that Hornby revisits often:


1) It's okay to give up on a book.

"We fought, (author) Wilkie Collins and I. We fought bitterly and with all our might, to a standstill, over a period of about three weeks, on trains and airplanes and by hotel swimming pools."

2) Sometimes the fault for a bad read lies not with the book and its author but with the reader. ..we are never the same reader twice.

"We are never allowed to forget some books are badly written; we should remember that sometimes they're badly read, too." 

3) The books we buy are almost as important as those we read.

"All the books we own, both read and unread, are the fullest expression of self we have act our disposal...With each passing year, and with each whimsical purchase, our libraries become more and more able to articulate who we are, whether we read the book for not."

It has prompted me to start a little series for a once-a-month posting on this blog in the format Nick uses, although I am telling you now that I lack much the natural wit and literary insight of said author, though I try. (Insert happy face here). But to those fellow book-lovers, I am hopeful you will enjoy a look into one book lover's tub o' books - to use Nick's analogy - much as I enjoy reading about your book favorites. And if this sort of thing bores you, chalk it up to a narcissistic strain in myself, a once-a-month record, to which you have my permission to roll your eyes and come back the next post instead. 

Nick divides each of his monthly articles into "Books Bought" and "Books Read."  I have added a third category, "Books Borrowed," which realistically mirrors my personal book habits these days (having usually more than 30 books out at a time from our fabulous local library systems.) Love Letters to Libraries

I am enjoying Ten Years in the Tub so much, that I went straight to an online used bookstore and bought it. So many memorable observations and thoughts - I knew I would be wanting to circle, star, and write in the margins!

Before I run out of June, I will post the list for May - for "practice" - tomorrow. 



NYTimes, June 17, 2018