When One Book Closes Another One Opens

Far too many books are yet to find their way to my bedside table so this year I set about reading classic novels and landmark texts that have hovered at the edge of my reading life without actually becoming part of what I know. Last night I closed Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. “I even think of Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty.” It was an acquired taste, and one I came to appreciate, but I’m glad it’s finished. Now to Patrick White’s Tree of Man because it was waved under my nose on the ABC’s Tuesday Book Club and has been sitting on my bookshelf for forty years unopened (it’s a big bookshelf). “A cart drove between the two big stringybarks and stopped.” Already, I know that this one too will be savoured rather than gulped. But I’m in love with the characters already.



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4 responses to “When One Book Closes Another One Opens

  1. I made a New Year’s resolution to read Ulysses. I haven’t started yet so it’s not looking promising.

  2. toni risson

    That’s another on the list. Let me know what you think of it – you’ve still got five months to go.

  3. Helen Banks

    Hi Toni, Good on you! I once bought Alain de Botton’s book, “How Proust Can Change Your Life”, thinking it would be like reading his classic “In Search of Lost Time ” without actually having to. Instead, I found myself wanting to read it and so I ploughed my way very enjoyably through all six volumes (!). It took me almost two years, with a few other novels read in between, but was well worth it. So hang in there…I’m reading Middlemarch now. Reading the classics as well as modern novels is a good combo.

    • toni risson

      Proust has been whispering to me for a while. I bounced onto the bed at an Air BnB stay recently only to find the Lydia Davis translation staring at me from the bookshelf – you can tell so much about people by their bookshelves. From the opening line – “For a long time, I went to bed early” – I couldn’t put it down and it took all my moral fibre not to steal the thing. He’s definitely on the list.

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