It happens even to the best readers from time to time… you close the cover on the book you’re reading and discover, to your horror, that there’s nothing else to read. Either there’s nothing in the house, or nothing you’re in the mood for. Just, nothing that “clicks.? What do you do?? How do you get the reading wheels turning again?

I’m not really answering this question but it made me think of something - it also ties in with a couple of questions I missed while I was away: Where do/don’t you read?

I like to think I read on the tube. I have two 20-minute journeys each day and I always have a book with me so of course I read on the tube. Except I don’t. It’s one of those times when I just don’t feel in the mood to pick up a book (see it does have something to do with this week’s question) Why not then? This has been intriguing me a bit. I want to read, I have a book, I have time, so why do I sit there and gaze around?

I sometimes think it’s because I like watching the people. I had a very lonely, single-driver-by-car commute in Melbourne and it’s still a novelty to be able to sit back and not worry about traffic all the way to work. I realised after I came here that I saw very few strangers back at home: My life was work, social activities (with friends) and shopping (where I knew all the sales assistants). Here I see, and still marvel at, the never-ending flow of different, interesting people who hop on and off the Wimbledon line.

Occasionally, in my more cynical moments, I think it all stems from my need to be alert. London is a big, scary city and who knows what might happen if I lose myself in a web of words.

Bedside Table: ‘La Jeune Fille a la Perle’ by Tracy Chevalier (second time)

I only took one book with me on holidays (The Game - It was great) but I was well-supplied with knitting. Trouble was, I didn’t feel like knitting much and thus finished my book in less than a week with 13 days of holidays still looming ahead! We were in St Tropez at the time and I couldn’t find any English books in the one bookstore. I spent a looooong time choosing a French one while Neil hovered grumpily at my shoulder. I’m pretty fussy about my French reading - mostly cause I’m not that good at it ;-) I want something that I know I will understand easily as I don’t want to have to lug a dictionary around with me, but I have progressed beyond children’s books and Agatha Christie in translation, which means that the choice lies among a wealth of authors many of which I’ve never heard of (and the ones I have heard of, like Albert Camus, I’m not sure are suitable for dictionary-free beaches).

I decided on ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ because even though I’ve read it in English, that was a long time ago so it pretty much seems new. There’s the occasional word I can’t figure out from context but I’m getting most of it and enjoying the reading. Have you read it? Why not take it out for a re-read :)

4 Responses to “”
  1. Marianne says:

    I have a hard time reading when there are people to watch — people watching can be fascinating. Still, I try to always have a book with me.

    Good luck with your French novel. I can read French better than I can speak or understand it spoken…

    I put my answers to BTT here.

  2. Michelle says:

    You’ve been tagged! Check my blog.

  3. Carrie K says:

    Oh surely The Plague would have been nice light reading- while-translating-on-the-beach.

    Well, maybe not.

    I used to read on BART but I would get interrupted about every sentence or two with “What are you reading?” It didn’t make for a very engaged effort.

  4. Literary Feline says:

    I think I would be tempted to people watch on the tube too in your situation. :-) I would have my book in hand perhaps, but still be watching everyone around me.

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