A few nights ago an old friend came to dinner. I asked what was new. With considerable excitement she replied, “I just finished re-reading War and Peace! It was much better than when I read it 30 or 40 years ago!” That got me thinking about what I should be reading at age 86. I expect that, like me, most book-lovers have a pile of books beside their bed, favourite chair, or on their ebook reader that they intend to read. But, realistically, if the list is as long as mine, they are not likely to fit them all in before ‘the last page arrives’. (That is another euphemism for dying!) (See former BMJ editor Richard Smith’s blog on Pet Peeves… this is one of them). So, the question becomes: which should we choose – reading or re-reading greats like War and Peace or settling for current favourites like Peter May’s books (see my blog), those of Philip Kerr, or Michelle Obama’s promising autobiography? Truly, I can’t decide. Last year, encouraged by something I read and by one of my sons, I started reading (and listening to) Moby Dick. I was loving it, but it got bumped for something else. I have resolved to finish it come what may. Which reminds me that, for me, and perhaps other elderly folks who belong to a library, thanks to Overdrive, there is often the option of listening to ‘affordable’ (i.e., free!) audiobooks. A bonus from listening, apart from sparing eyesight, is that most audiobooks are brilliantly read. That poses yet another decision: read or listen?
Readers of this blog are invited to submit their thoughts. But, please do so promptly before the list gets any longer and the time any shorter!