Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Literary crushes: Nick Hornby

I love Nick Hornby wholly and unabashedly. I devour his books and essays with fervor. He ROCKS MY WORLD!

I have just finished "Housekeeping vs the Dirt" which is a collection of essays printed monthly in Believer magazine. These essays offer witty, intelligent, and unique accounts of the stuff Hornby has been reading, and more importantly, has CHOSEN to read...not books that he has been given to review. He provides a list of Books Bought and Books read at the beginning of every month and these books range from a Michael Connelly thriller to Voltaire. No literary snob is Hornby, and that is why I have so enjoyed reading these essays. I am now rereading the Polysyllabic Spree, which is the first collection of essays from the Believer, and have recently become a subscriber to the magazine (oh WHY do we not have a Canadian equivalent?) in order to follow the essays in a more timely manner, and to enjoy reading about reading.

I quote...
The Believer is a monthly magazine where length is no object. There are book reviews that are not necessarily timely, and that are very often very long. There are interviews that are also very long.

We will focus on writers and books we like.

We will give people and books the benefit of the doubt.

Oh so fun...

One of the things that I really enjoy about Hornby's essays is is insistence that reading should be enjoyable. You shouldn't head out and read the most recent contemporary literary masterpiece because people TELL you to. You should read what you like, for it is the act of reading that is important, not necessarily WHAT. So what if what you are reading didn't win a Pulitzer Prize? There is no shame in not finishing Catch 22 the FIVE (yup, that 's right FIVE) times you have tried to read it as every person you know keeps telling you that it is the best comic novel ever written and all you can think is WHY does Yossarian not get shot so I can stop reading this stupid freaking whiny-ass book?

The stats used to say that the biggest readers were aged 18-34 (thats me!). Now, not so much, as the 18-34 year olds are attached to their computers and their ican'tbelieveitsnotlive music players. Pick up a book dammit!

Much to the chagrin of my fiance, I have an irrational addiction to books. They are everywhere in our house. I consume them with veracity, I reread my favourites, I get excited about reading new ones and I LOVE them all. Sadly for the affianced one, these two books of Nick Hornby essays come with LISTS of new books that I might just LOVE!


I gotta get a bigger house...

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