Every now and then, people, we all go through an odious phase that I unaffectionately call ‘The Wait’. Well, bibliophiles like me, anyway. This is the interregnum between two great books, once composed of the long dark nights spent waiting for the next Harry Potter, now marked by repeated appeals to friends to beg borrow or steal books for this literary soul.
I am going through a particularly bad Wait right now, having just finished Thomas Hardy’s ‘Jude the Obscure’. In case I didn’t publicize it when I read my first Hardy way back in 2001, he was a visionary and a great writer. Not a bit like D.H. Lethargic Lawrence, whose pen seems to stretch each syllable to infinite lengths. Hardy is more like, say, Wilde. He doesn’t show you a funny side. You see it. The satire is obvious and the gloom of the novel is like Gotham on a particularly damp afternoon. Sadly, after this book was panned by the insular people of that day, he muttered “Never again”, and walked away into the sunset composing poems (No, he probably didn’t, but face it, it’s much more dramatic this way).
I did find a great book thrust into my hands the day I finished reading the last page. ‘Great Speeches’- a simple title for a relatively thin volume, in which were included some of the greatest words ever uttered. That ray of light has been imprisoned in my book shelf, my access to which has been restricted of late due to some going ons. I occupied myself with sudokus unattempted and articles unread, and the faithful National Geographic issues that I had already gone through. The Reader’s Digest arrived and went, spent of any useful information that I could glean from it, though it did give me that classy line- ‘Pyrites of the Carribean’.
The Wait is wearing me down. As a vampire thirsts for blood, I thirst for books. Little reason remains in this state, a struck man subsisting on dregs through blogs and newspapers, as a mendicant survives on the generosity of others. Fact is, I’ll still be surviving on the generosity of others once the books arrive, but hey, I’ll have more to survive on.
I could develop a theory around the Wait, but why should I have all the fun? I am sure there are loads of you who would like to fill in the details. Plus, it gives me a chance to subsist for a few more days on the comments if any.
Oh, and to anyone whom I’ll be meeting in a few days, do get some books.