What have you read (so far) in 2013?

Darcy tapped the page of his book and the next appeared. It had been years since he had to physically labour, turning page after page, of a novel or heavy non fiction tome and he knew he would resent having to make that much effort to read when his Kindle iPad app was so convenient. More often than not he completely avoided even having to scan his eyes along the lines by installing white earbuds into his head and listening, while an under-employed actor read to him in dulcet tones. 

He was consuming more books than ever before as a result. It was perilously easy to, with a few taps, make never-ending purchases from the Amazon store or Audible, which were accessible on the same login and recorded his taste in fiction and non fiction. Aware that he was consuming ideas like others prowl malls, self-justification found form in completion. He actually finished more than 90% of what he purchased.

How did he do this? 

For the first time in his life domestic duties and chores were actively sought out and completed with slow gusto, earbuds installed, Audible app on, as the routine housework was completed. It was not just the washing-up or loading the dishwasher but more and more jobs were sought to allow the narrative, whatever it may be, to continue. The fridge was cleaned while Tony Judt explained postwar Europe and cupboards organised as Hilary Mantel raised Tudor England from the dead. The lawn had never been kept so trimmed as when he discovered that earbuds under ear protection meant he could listen to George RR Martin kill of his protagonists with bloody abandon. Spring cleaning took place in winter, the untidy garage righted, swept, stacked and generally ordered while Haruki Murakami dreamt of George Orwell. 

Walking to work, catching the train, waiting anywhere all became pleasure of the highest order as stories unfolded, taking him away from the routine, mundane aspects of his existence. He discovered, while listening to Granta’s emerging young writers, that listening to the author’s voice, telling their own stories, rather than an actor employed to spin the yarn, was even more satisfying.

The only real issue that bothered him was what happened to the stories in his own head while listening to those of others.

Reading is more important to me than most other activities. It always has been so. The number of books I am reading continues to accelerate due to Audible audiobooks and the ease of using their app on my iPhone.

Apologies for the piece above but I was just having some self-indulgent fun.

I do still read hard copies of books, lots of them, usually purchased via booko.com.au so the opening lines of my blog post are not true, as such. For example, I have just started a battered, secondhand copy of The Age of the Fish by Ödön von Horváth.

fish

What have you been reading so far in 2013? This year, so far, I have completed the following books as recorded at my my online bookshelf.

Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 5.28.08 AM Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 5.29.29 AM Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 5.33.26 AM

Currently I am enjoying AM Homes dark satire of contemporary life, May We Be Forgiven and several other books are in various stages of completion.

What are you reading?

Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 5.38.53 AM

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8 Comments

  1. Troy:

    Love the opening narrative! I’ve re-read a few novels this year…but some favourites I’ve read Me and Rory MacBeth, Silver Linings Playbook, Childhood of Jesus was stunning. But my discovery of this picture book hidden on the book shelf was most pleasing! http://litistan.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/the-new-comer/

  2. WombatBill:

    Hey Darc,
    Have to admit I loved the hunger games, quite enjoyed Hurt by Travis Thrasher (now that was a quirky one). Have started the Petaybee series by Anne mccaffery and ploughed through the Books of History Chronicles by ted Dekker.
    Right now I am we’ll into the third book in the series the Black Magician series by Trudi Canavan. All audio books as I drive around. Gotta love the iPad.

  3. Richard:

    Finishing Hugo’s magnificent Les Miserables, which I’ve been reading on and off for about two years.
    Also reading fun children’s fantasy Wildwood by Colin Meloy (who also happens to be singer-songwriter with one of my favourite bands, The Decemberists)
    Just read Nicki Greenburg’s fantastic graphic novel re-imagining of Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby.
    Currently teaching (& thus enjoying re-reading) Shakespeare’s mighty Henry V and Dylan Thomas’ spectacularly lyrical Under Milk Wood.

  4. Tanya:

    Hi Mr Moore,
    My book count for 2013 is upto 46! I’ve just realized according to my Kobo & Kindle accounts + the game of thrones series via Audible
    Nothing you would be interested In I’m sure, mostly new adult romance and YA Paranormal
    stuff
    I did read The Fault in our Stars by John Green which was great won best YA book of 2012
    My TBR list is so long & it seems to grow with ‘just one click’ everyday :)
    So hmmm what to start next??? My hardest decision every two days or so :)
    Oh u should read the ‘Earths Children’ series by Jean M Auel if u haven’t already… Which u probably have
    Anyway bye :)

    • Darcy Moore:

      Hi Tanya,

      Thanks for posting this comment. It is wonderful when students from loooong ago are still talking to me about books :)

      I once loved Jean M Auel’s books and read most of them a years ago (around the same time I was reading Marion Zimmer Bradley’s ‘Mists of Avalon’ which you would like, if you’ve not already read it). I really should read John Green. Everyone says he is great.

      BTW I think you would like these two books: http://www.patrickrothfuss.com/content/books.asp by Patrick Rothfuss.

      Finally, I cannot wait for GoT vol. 6.

      Happy reading.

  5. Kelli M:

    I do a lot of thinking while I clean Darcy…so wondering what your thoughts actually are on your concluding problem:

    “The only real issue that bothered him was what happened to the stories in his own head while listening to those of others.”

    However I suspect I could do with a few more stories from outside my own head ;)

    Atm reading a book for homework: ‘Raising the stakes – Gambling with the future of universities’ by Peter Coldrake (my Vice Chancellor) and Lawrence Stedman.

  6. Oh Darcy, you are such a breath of fresh air! Your opening made me think of Italo Calvino’s If On A Winter’s Night a Traveller which I keep thinking I should reread… perhaps you will inspire me?

  7. Nathan Fisher:

    Wonderful post. I have mostly been reading science fiction this year and was lucky enough to stumble upon the work of Bennett R. Coles. I read Virtues of War a while ago which was just superb and just recently I picked up his latest novel Casulaties of War http://www.bennettrcoles.com/works/casualties-of-war

    I read a handful of books each month and occasionally there is one that sticks in my mind and won’t leave for weeks. These are usually the books I end up recommending to friends and family for years afterwards as I’m sure will be the case with Casualties of War. Check out the authors website or find it on amazon if you want to get some great scifi reading in.

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