Do people still read books these days? I’ve been reading Elizabeth Scalia’s book Strange Gods, two letters from readers of my column, Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), numerous blog posts and newspaper articles, and cake recipes from the free supermarket magazine I picked up at the checkout when doing the milk, bread, and apples run.
Let me know which you’d rather hear from me about and I’ll oblige in my next check-in blog post! Or maybe I’ll bake the plum and cardamon tea cake first and at least if the blog post is rushed and incoherent you’ll have a pretty picture to look at.
I can’t tell what I’ve enjoyed reading the most, it’s been all good. Strange Gods is appropriate Lenten reading, which is why I chose to read it now. Next on my desk is Death on a Friday Afternoon by Fr Richard Neuhaus, which should get me nicely through the end of Lent and Holy Week.
The weeks are flying. Autumn is here with its chillier nights and mornings and usually I love this season but this time I’m in denial about it. I’m still wearing pyjama shorts and singlet tops to bed. I’m still scrambling for purchase on the year. I’ve just recently felt able to launch into 2015 and we’re practically at Easter. As my kids would say ‘What the????’.
I’ve been working a little more, commuting a bit, doing some volunteer stuff, doing more stuff. My daily walks slowed, then stopped. The days are such that I might have time to make a cup of tea but usually don’t get to drink it while warm. Or I forget to finish making it, and at 11pm when tidying up the kitchen I find a cup on the bench with a dry tea bag slumped in it.
Poor tea bag. It’s not you, it’s me.
(How do I get time to read then? While waiting for the kettle to boil, and the kids’ swimming lesson or bath time play to finish, and in the five minutes at bedtime before turning off the light. I’m a speed reader which helps a lot, and if I need to, I think about the content later while in the shower, or driving.
So things have been a bit uncomfortable around here, a bit scribbly and crumpled and cold-tea stained. Not polished at all, not perfect, but still good. I’m glad for the reading, for providing a few minutes here and there of quiet, calm, space that eludes me everywhere else.
One day I’ll write a proper essay about what I read and why. What do you read and why?