notes from an urban hibernation

Paris : Simon Cutts & Erica Van Horn

Bookshelves

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The apartment is full of books.  There are hundreds of books.  Probably it is more like thousands of books. There are books in Danish and in English and in French. As I move around the space, I am distracted by titles. My eye is caught by titles on spines and I have to stop to look.  I pull out books and I make little piles to return to.

I like looking at the Danish titles, but the titles are all I look at.  The French and the English books get my attention.  I should be giving myself the project of reading in French. My French is far from good.  My French is terrible.  I should be working at reading French and being submerged in French.  I am lazy. That is why I never get better.

I am a voracious reader.  I read quickly and I read a lot. My greediness makes me read books at a terrific speed. I read so fast that I finish things fast and then I am hungry for another book.  I can never get enough.  When I read in French I read slowly, very slowly.  I read along and then sometimes I get to the bottom of a page or a paragraph and I realize that I have not really understood what I have read.  I am just reading words.  I am not reading meaning and I am not reading a story. It is hard work and it is not fun.  I read for pleasure which is why I continue to pull out the English titles.  I want my reading to be fun.

There are hundreds of books here by writers from India.  My friend translates these writers into French. Some of the books are here in both languages.  There are dozens of Indian authors that I have never heard of.  There are the usual ones who we know in the west and whose books have gained wide approval and attention.  There are many others who might be just as good but who I have not learned about yet. I feel I must take this opportunity to read these novels and essays and stories in order to learn about the many new writers. I can use this sense of obligation to continue to read in English.  There is very little doubt that my intentions are geared to my already established reading habits.

I hope I can remember to put the books back on the shelves where I found them. EVH

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This entry was posted on January 3, 2014 by .
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