How difficult it becomes with age to find a good book to read

October 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

How difficult it becomes with age to find a good book to read:  one has become more demanding, both because one has seen a lot and is no longer as easily impressed; but also because one’s time is shorter — the days go by faster, there are fewer of them left — so that one has grown less forgiving of those who would waste it.

This year I have read only five or six new books to the end, most of those not because they were especially good but because they were informative, the rest lie about the house, splayed open upside down, like dead sea-gulls shot down from the sky.  It is perhaps on this account that I read less in general:  drawing up this year’s accounts I find no more than 30 titles this year, so far, against the usual three hundred a year as recently as 2005.  Books, I suppose, go the way of women:  one knows how it will go; and, worse, knows too that he doesn’t really care all that much for it.

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