Do You Have Rainy Day Books?
I’m not talking about what you read on days when the heavens open and all you want to do is snuggle up by the fire with a cuppa and a good book.
I’m talking about books that you’re looking forward to reading so much that you reserve them for a future time? A time when you know you’ll want to read something very special.
I have a few books that fit this description. They include:
- Half a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- Le Ventre de Paris (The Belly of Paris) by Emile Zola
- Gould’s Book of Fish by Richard Flanagan
- Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- The Hours by Michael Cunningham
- Becoming by Michelle Obama
This is just a sample of my ‘rainy day books’ from my large collection of unread books. I think there are around 30 in total, some of which have been on my shelves for more than five years.
Some are books by authors whose work I’ve enjoyed hugely in the past (Adichie, Flanagan, Zola). Others like the Ghosh and Cunningham have come highly recommended by other bloggers.
The problem is that the rainy day never actually arrives.
I’m coming to the conclusion that in fact the day will never materialise. That I’ll always find a reason to leave the rainy day book on the shelf and go in search of something else to read.
Which means that instead of reading a book I’m more or less guaranteed to enjoy, I read one that I might enjoy.
How perverse is that???
That quote from Henry Thoreau has given me the impetus to rethink this whole rainy day approach.
What If Rainy Days Never Materialise?
None of us like to contemplate the fact that we have only a finite number of years left on this planet. And thus a finite number of books it’s physically possible to read.
If I keep putting certain books aside to read one day in the future, that day may never come. I could easily go to my grave never having read the very books I most want to read. Meanwhile I could have wasted time on second best novels. A sobering thought.
It’s time to turn my thinking completely on its head.
Instead of squirrelling them away it’s time to bring these books into the daylight. And to read them. Because if not now, when will I ever get around to them? I’d hate to think the answer to that question could be never.