I have a confession to make: Sometimes, I’m not in the mood to read. Books are my favorite hobby, and they’re also my job. But “real” life (I mean, the life that doesn’t require bookmarks and consist of wizards, plot twists and lovers quarrels) sometimes gets in the way. Like when you’re trying to renovate the upper floor of your bookshop. Or when your cousin’s getting married and you have to travel to Chicago. Or, you know, when you’re really into a Good Wife marathon on Hulu.*
But life seems to finally be (relatively) settling down for me, and I’m starting to read again. I’m in the middle of Rules of Civility and Shadow of Night and I’m dying to finish them both, but I didn’t want to jump back in with a full course meal. Enter Nick Hornby’s newest group of Believer columns — a collection of essays that just happen to be the perfect bite-sized literary appetizers.
In each column, Hornby begins by listing the books he’s bought that month and making a parallel list of what he’s actually read. Some months, he’s a prolific reader. And sometimes, like me, he admits that life (which for him is more kids and football than weddings and Hulu, but whatever — tomato/tomahto) just got in the way. But either way, his essays are funny, relatable, full of interesting literary and musical tidbits and, above all, love letters to the love of reading. I’m reading More Baths Less Talking now, but I also loved The Polysyllabic Spree and Shakespeare Wrote for Money. I’d recommend any to get you back into the habit of reading, to give you great ideas for your next book, or just as a palette cleanser between a couple of meaty, full-blown novels.
* These examples may be a bit less than hypothetical.