So. As you can see, I gave in to temptation—to overwhelming need—and got myself the other two compilations of Nick Hornby’s Believer column—The Polysyllabic Spree and Shakespeare Wrote for Money. It was quite serendipitous, actually; the Universe was smiling down on me. I found a lightly battered (what a strange phrase for a strange condition) copy of Spree on sale for PhP50.00 (about a dollar), and I figured that the Big Kahuna was giving me its blessing to buy Shakespeare (still in its plastic wrapping) at full price. I shall not be repentant, nuh-uh. Even if this means I won’t be eating for about a week, and I’ve wiped out the points in my National Bookstore card (that’s three years of points down the drain!) Is Hornby worth it?
Hell yes. But, then again, I am unbelievably biased. I have discovered that one can actually have a crush on someone else’s reading—not necessarily the books he reads, but how he reads his books, and how he shares the experience. He first hit me with Housekeeping Vs. The Dirt, and some of you might remember how it rocked my world, getting the wheels turning for not only an overhauling of this blog, but a reexamination of my own reading habits. Since then, I’ve already gone back to the book, reading some sections more closely, lingering over the bits I may have missed on the first go. Even the parts that I skipped—those concerning the books I haven’t read, or have no intention of reading—I went through anyway. That’s how big this crush is.
The one other time I have felt something like this was when I read How Fiction Works by James Wood. However, that crush was a more dignified kind of crush, the kind you have for a not unattractive English professor who smells faintly of tobacco, whom you try not to stare at from your perch at the back of the room. With Hornby, well, Hornby’s this guy you share a cigarette break with, and as you’re both puffing away, and dying on a molecular level, you bond, and for a few short hours, you let yourself think, Hey, this could actually work. Baby carriages don’t actually come into the picture, but there is music video montage of sidewalk cafes and used bookstores and binge drinking at poetry readings.
I am in too deep, aren’t I?
Where are you, Nick Hornby, and what are you reading?