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Reading many hardcopy books in Glasgow

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2015-04-09 17.47.38

While I don’t do it deliberately, I do tend to read hardcopy books when I’m at home in Glasgow and therefore don’t have to lug them around the world with me. I’m not one of those people who has (or claims to have) a completely different experience reading on a screen from reading on paper – a book is a book is a book as far as I’m concerned; if it’s a good enough book the page disappears (I only read Us a couple of months ago, and have already forgotten whether I read it in hardcopy or as an ebook), and I do sometimes find myself, with paper books, looking up at the top right-hand corner of the page to check the time, or raising my finger over the page because I want to highlight a particular quote. That said, passionately attached though I am to my Kindle (and the nearly-500 unread books stored shamefully therein), I am writing this from my Glasgow living room, one wall of which is lined, floor to ceiling, with actual books, and I would be lying if I said that I didn’t sometimes slip in here and run my fingers along their spines with a dopey, lovestruck smile on my face. Books: truly my first and most enduring love.

Over the past few days, then, I have burned through Fishnet, by Kirstin Innes, which is a beautifully written and fascinating (fictional) exploration of sex work in Scotland (disclaimer: the author is a friend, but I am positive that I would think the same even were she not), and then The Piper’s Son, by Melina Marchetta, and Surrender, Dorothy, by Meg Wolitzer. I loved The Interestings so much that I went ahead and bought everything Meg Wolitzer has out as an ebook, which didn’t include this, so I ordered it in hardcopy – and I liked it a lot, though not nearly as much as The Interestings, I’m afraid. The Piper’s Son was a lovely, heartening book – pretty much every Australian or semi-Australian of my age or younger read Marchetta’s Looking for Alibrandi as a teenager, and as a result Marchetta’s books have a sort of intense nostalgia attached to them for me, even those (like this) I haven’t read before. I think this is my favourite of hers, aside from On the Jellicoe Road; although the experience of family and friendship that Marchetta explores in her books isn’t my own, it’s one that I find very comforting and reassuring. (It also makes me a little homesick for Sydney, where I lived for seven years as a teenager, and which I haven’t visited since 2007. Not sure when I’ll have the chance to go back next, which is sad.)

Meanwhile, Glasgow is making a stab at spring, which involves long, light evenings and two days of sunshine and the air misty with pollen and then, just this afternoon, an unexpected and intense hailstorm that filled my garden with ice. I’m here for a little longer than I thought I would be, and I am trying to make the most of it, by which I mean working from bed in my pyjamas as much as possible, and marvelling at how gorgeous my flat is.


Sunset from my living room


Written by Jess

April 11, 2015 at 4:04 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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