I really am a terrible reader. The list of half read or less books that I have in my past is huge and there generally seems to be no rhyme nor reason as to what books I actually can manage to read to an end. I cannot really identify a writing style or genre that works for me. It just seems to be the combination or the right time, place and book. My wife on the other side of this will read almost anything and seems to have a commitment to finish a book once she has started it. This is something I admire and is a mystery to me. This all make me a rather sad Librarian I guess, or indeed a rather sad traditional one. It is probably lucky that my particular career has not led me down the path of book recommendations. I might not have been so successful at that one. Whenever I meet someone and they ask me what I do, they inevitably pass comment on or assume about my reading. "You must read a lot" is often offered up in conversation. Well, sadly, no. I am a lazy reader, I am a slow reader. I am a distracted reader.
I find these days especially, that my attention span is so small that I cannot read for too long. I blame the internet, email and social media for this. My mind, I am sure, has been slowly dumbed down to a list of short phrases, LOL's and LMAO's. Where once I wrote a 10 page letter to a pen friend, two paragraphs in an email, these days feels like success.
Testament to this is the latest book I am reading. It is a collection of pieces written by the columnist Howard Jacobson. At 3-4 pages each, they are perfect snippets for my mind. Allowing me to confidently start another, without fear of the long "sentence" killing me before I finish. Jacobson is witty, superior and totally British. It's actually a lovely read which frequently makes laugh out loud. I have to confess, it was actually a relief to find the book!