It feels really strange that I actually had to write this as a goal, considering that, doing an English degree, reading ought to be my job. But, I’ve found, in the past, that I can sometimes get caught up quite narrowly with the pressures of study and forget to broaden my reading horizons from time to time. And, while, seeing as I’m only just returning after serious illness, they’ve scaled back my workload this term, this term has shown me that I can balance reading for fun with my course. I just have to be prepared for a book which might usually have taken me two or three days to read normally, taking two weeks instead.
Anyway, I’ve already begun on this resolution, although, quite lightly, by re-reading ‘The Elegance of the Hedgehog’ by Muriel Barbery, and, while I want to save talking about the book in more depth for later, I will say that I’m glad I started off with such a text, which is all about the joys of art – literature being one of them. It has just encouraged me.
Actually, boy, has it encouraged me: I’ve drawn up a list of books, and it’s a truly epic program, ranging from ‘The Bloody Chamber’ to ‘Brideshead Revisited’, with authors as diverse as Macrobius, Charlotte Bronte and Andy MacNab. It incorporates the recommendations of friends (‘Anna Karenina’; ‘The Screwtape Letters’), books that I have loved and would like to revisit (‘The Bloody Chamber’; ‘Lord Jim’), and matters of curiosity (‘Brideshead Revisited’; Marcus Aurelius’ ‘Meditations’). I do not expect to finish it.
I plan to keep two reading records: one here and one in my diary. One will be a copy of the other. In this way, I feel that not only will I be better able to engage with the books, but also to share them with other people.
Wish me luck! 2 weeks ago