Apologies for the longish break; I’ve had a longer-than-usual digital detox this Christmas, involving being off Facebook, email and WordPress as well as eschewing my usual daily Guardian crossword. My laptop has been smouldering with the TV, Netflix and radio programmes I’ve been plonking myself in front of (in front of which I have been plonking myself) but I haven’t only been ‘consuming’ these ‘products’ (I shall come back to my loathing of those terms in a moment) – I have been reading. And reading. And reading some more. Yes, for Christmas I received a copy of ‘The Book of Dust’ by Phillip Pullman. At 525 pages it weighs in at several kilos and needs the arms of a Hindu god in order to both hold and read it (actually I have read longer books, though not usually in one volume – War and Peace comes to mind, as well as does In Search of Lost Time. I have a vivid memory of struggling with something that had more than 1000 pages, but I can’t for the life of me remember what it was. *
Aaanyway, the Book of Dust – absolutely brilliant; so good I had to read it twice and sadly I did so at such a rate that before the week was out, I’d finished. ‘La Belle Sauvage’ is the first volume of The Book of Dust trilogy; I have no idea when the second will be out or what it will be called (the Book of Dust Jacket, perhaps?)
Other than that Christmas presents centred around food and drink; things which are actually products and which I did actually consume. I have a rabid dislike of these words being applied inappropriately to things which are not products (TV, films, shows, etc) and if anyone ever dares to suggest that The Book of Dust is a product which I have consumed, I shall beat them around the ears with all 525 pages of it.
Well, that’s it for today. I daresay I shall have more thoughts in the days to come…
Happy New Year
* I think it may have been ‘A Suitable Boy’.