One Book Woman
These days though, I'm much more promiscuous.
I currently have three books on the go - Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift (which I carry back and forwards to work with me because it's a good handbag-sized book), The Old Curiosity Shop by Dickens (which sits on my bedside table), and the first part of The Lord Of The Rings (which also sits on my bedside table).
I read Gulliver's Travels when I was little, but it must have been a childrens version. I remember being fascinated by the illustrations of the tiny Lilliputians clambering over Gulliver when they discover him asleep in the countryside, but that's really all I remember. So when I started reading it again recently, I was a bit taken aback. Swift apparently wanted to piss some people off with Gulliver's Travels: 'to vex the world rather than divert it'. The blurb on the back cover, which I am just reading now, explains my feelings exactly: "'Gulliver' is a book to which the adult reader comes back with surprise and a fresh respect". You said it mate. It's not a kiddie's story about tiny people and giants - it's a satire. And a good one too.
The Old Curiosity Shop is my 'serious' reading. I am woefully ignorant of many classic books that I should have read long before now, so I'm trying to read as many as I can.
But I often feel the need for a bit of escapism at the end of a long day, which is where The Lord Of The Rings comes in. It's World Book Day today, and to celebrate the 10th anniversary they have compiled a list of 10 Books You Can't Live Without - LOTR came second.* Higher than the Bible, which came 6th. I've never read the bible, but I've read LOTR many times, and I suspect I'll read it many more times in my life. So I suppose it is one of the books I couldn't live without.
I do still get a wee twinge of guilt that I don't focus completely on one book any more, but if I'm going to get through the books on my shelves by the time I collect my pension (which will be a loooong time yet the way things are going in this country) then I'm going to have to step up the pace.
Maybe a book in each hand...?
*And I see the people who compiled this list are unable to spell 'Tolkien' properly. Good stuff.