I’m not sure why but trips to the large bookstore are depressing; I much prefer small book stores where the air smells of paper. Is it a relentless and banal repetition pile to pile and station to station? Every mystical title I see cries that’s it’s the last book I need to read and magnifies or recalls some other clever title and the fact that publishers don’t even try to hide copy-cat narrative concepts is, well, tiresome.
Most of the books I’ve read in the last few years have come my way by word of mouth. As most novels and collections are an investment of time and thinking, this reader has to be careful what to chose to spend time with. More than word-of-mouth, the majority of my reading time is taken by digital works and those works I teach or want to investigate further. I’ll typically stay with an author for a while, which is an outgrowth of the teaching habit.
When I read The Iliad, I always find new things and new things to say about the work. I’m nearly done with 2666, and when I am, I’ll go to more works by Roberto Bolaño. Because this author demands time.