The last eight months have seen my book collection take a large hit of negligence. Since September last year every time I have picked up a novel or non-fiction book of interest my conscience has immediately told me to put it down, and replace the wonderful item in my hands with its ugly, distant relation: a textbook.
Just like the unwanted announcement of said relation coming to stay, textbooks have done nothing but intrude on my life lately. The pile of them on my desk seems to grow by the day, and my beloved library (small though it may be) has become increasingly bullied to give up shelf space in order to accommodate such things. But as is the case with all bullies, their time runs out and the opportunity arises for their victims to regain their rightful homes.
This has been coming on a while; the novel obviously has a sixth sense for these things, for as my deadlines have drawn near and eventually passed, the pile of textbooks on my desk has slowly become intimidated by a much more glamorous collection staring at it from the shelf on the other side of the room.
This time next week all bound pages containing the words ‘ecofeminist’, ‘conceptual thought’ and ‘philosophical virtue’ will be returned to their comfort zone of the library’s fifth floor, and shall mark the start of my freedom from academic work. I’m not entirely looking forward to this, I have loved university and admittedly wouldn’t send every textbook I’ve come across to Room 101, but reading for pleasure has definitely taken an unfair sideline in recent months. I may not have given the inside pages much attention, but there’s nothing that stops book covers jumping out at you and demanding you read the blurb and buy them instantly, especially as my feet have an involuntary urge to steer me into Waterstones on a weekly basis. Due to this, I have a collection of unread books awaiting my freedom to read whatever I please, of which I thought I’d share with you now.
This list represents fairly (if vaguely) the interest in the type of book I have, and as I plan to get through these as quickly as possible, I invite you to add your recommendations of some paper treasures I may like.
The Liar, Stephen Fry
Going Out, Scarlett Thomas
We Need to Talk About Kevin, Lionel Shriver
One Day, David Nicholls
Northern Lights, Philip Pullman
When Will There Be Good News?, Kate Atkinson
Maya, Jostein Gaarder
Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
East of Eden, John Steinbeck
The Road to Wigan Pier, George Orwell
London Fields, Martin Amis