How important is it to be widely read?
I’ve decided there are far too many classics that have passed me by and now I’m on a mission.
I blame it all on the News of the World. When the paper closed, we reviewed our Sunday paper options (quite an important task in a house with two journalists).
After much deliberation, we opted for the Sunday Times, much to the dismay of our newspaper delivery man who said he feared for the suspension in his car with the mountain of supplements.
Apart from making me realise that there are women in this world who think nothing of spending £400 on a pair of shoes (there’s never any Primark in their fashion spreads), it did make me think about the things I had – and hadn’t – read.
The complete works of Shakespeare has been sat on my bookshelf since I was a teenager, with scribbled notes in the margin from A-level Macbeth and The Tempest, but the others barely touched.
My goal is to work up to those, but to start with, I thought I’d have a go at Lord of the Flies (another school leftover, this time from my hubby’s collection).
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s beautifully written. I can appreciate William Golding’s attention to detail.
“Not a lot happens, though, does it?” I said to hubby. “I’m half way through and so far, all the boys have done is kill a pig, let the fire go out, and talk with a shell.”
He tells me that’s not the point. It’s about how people react when thrown into a desperate situation, and how society develops. The killing of the pig, he says, will become significant later.
I’m reserving judgement but if I’m honest I’m missing a bit of gritty Martina Cole, or the pure escapism of the Shopaholic series. Even if I learn to love the classics, I know I’ll always much rather be tucking into a biography.
What’s wrong with accepting that you can take it or leave it when it comes to some books? I’m ploughing on but making it through to Romeo and Juliet is looking a tough task.