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Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Art of 1600s Books...

Alberto Manguel's reading list for the book "A Reading Diary" includes Cervantes' "Don Quixote." Manguel quotes extensively from "Don Quixote" and the reader walks away with a great deal of the story. It must be an art to summarize entire sections of books this way. What to keep and what not to include? It is definitely a tough call. What I remember the most about "Don Quixote" are the times when my sisters and I would watch the old Mexican produced film version in Spanish and laugh at the absurdity of Sancho Pansa. It was a lovingly made film and I still remember some of its scenes. Some people theorize that Don Quixote is mentally ill because he read too much--spent too much time in his library. Perhaps I will end up like him.

Manguel on borrowing books: "I feel uncomfortable having other people's books at home. I want to either steal them or return them immediately. There is something of the visitor who outstays his welcome in borrowed books. Reading them and knowing that they don't belong to me gives me a feeling of something unfinished, half enjoyed. This is also true of library books." Over the years I have been collecting books at the same rate I read them, voraciously. I mark my books so borrowing from a library really doesn't help my case much. I do, however, borrow computer books from friends and from the library. I use them to teach myself and then have little or no attachment to them in the end.

I almost forgot to mention what Manguel writes regarding reading more than one book at a time. He says it is like two voices that enjoys at different times of the day. I am thinking of doing the same. I always read one book at a time and start thinking about what to read next on my list when I start getting close to the end. I don't know how it will go but I think I might want to try. Perhaps I will read twice as many books :-)

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At 8:48 PM, Blogger Lover of Books said...

I can only read one book at a time. But once I have started a review I can start the next one. I love going to my library because then I can check out authors that I would never even think about buying. :)Plus I do not have a lot of room for books.

At 10:36 PM, Blogger Orange Blossom Goddess (aka Heather) said...

"Some people theorize that Don Quixote is mentally ill because he read too much--spent too much time in his library. Perhaps I will end up like him."

No, no! I'm sure you won't. Giggle.

I must say there is something to be said for reading one book at a time...I was thinking I should get back to that as it is possible I might read faster if I am concentrating on only one at a time.

At 12:37 AM, Blogger Susan Abraham said...

I've never heard a book drive anyone insane yet, JCR. :-)
That's one safe & happy addiction.


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