That between-books moment

September 9th, 2009 • Posted in Random Stuff |

I love finishing reading a book, because that means I get to choose what to read next.  That brief moment between books when I haven’t got one on the go is always an exciting time, filled with anticipation.  Sometimes it lasts mere minutes but usually it’s several hours.  Today I finished The Land at the End of the Working Day by the very brilliant Peter Crowther, a wonderful collection of novellas that is lyrical, touching, witty and sad, and above all beautifully written.  I’ve known Pete a long time – he’s a good friend – but even if I didn’t know him, he’d be one of my favourite short story writers.  Do yourself a favour and pick up one of his collections.

And so on to that moment between books, when one story is finished and a new one has yet to begin.  We’re all confronted by thoughts of mortality from time to time – whether those thoughts wing their way out of the blue, or are forced upon us  – and today I got to thinking about our need for stories.  We all live just one story: our own.  It might be fast and eventful, or long and slow-burning, but it still has a definite beginning and end, the stretch in the middle decided by an infinite array of decisions and directions.  Reading stories is a way of exploring other lives.  Maybe that’s where the excitement between books comes from … the dawning realisation that it’s time to start another tale, and another, and another, and hopefully thousands more before one’s own story meets its inevitable ending.

For me, browsing my library is a time filled with possibilities.  I picked up at least twenty books today before deciding on the next one to read. It’s Dark Hollow by John Connolly.  I’m entering Charlie Parker’s world again, discovering just a bit more of his life story while my own ticks on around me.

Life is, as a good friend said to me today, a one way ticket.  Best make the ride as full of wonderful stories as possible.

Please Feel Free to Share:



Leave a comment: