Getting booked for bluffing…

1 03 2007

I’m supposed to be having a break from all things ministry and thought-inducing today, but I just couldn’t resist posting something on World Book Day. I used to work in a bookshop, and loved the buzz about reading that this day could produce…

As you’ll have guessed from this blog I’m an avid reader. When I was at University riding rickety lifts to the eleventh floor of the library, my main concern was not whether I would get stuck if it broke down, but whether I had any books in my bag which would pass the time for me in such an event!! I know, I know I’m weird.

I love reading all sorts of things. From the side of the HP bottle at the dinner table, to newspapers, magazines, books and journals. It’s my main pastime and one of my strongest passions.

One of my great reading ambitions is to get through Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. It is regarded as the greatest novel ever written in any language, and for twelve years I have dipped in and out of a paperback volume, never to succeed in finishing it. The fault does not lie in Tolstoy’s writing ability, but in my application and concentration. His study of the early years of nineteenth century Russia is penetrating, incisive, spiritual and horrific by turns. I love his breadth, but also his eye for details. It is literally a book which changes the way in which you view the world. I’m currently further on in War and Peace than ever before, with a mere 270 out of 1444 pages to go. I feel like a mountaineer completing the final sections of Everest, I can see the summit but the air is getting thin! I’ll publish a special post when I complete this major reading goal! I know that anyone who already endures reading this blog will look forward to that (he jests).

If the prospect of battling your way through War and Peace (pardon the pun) fills you with dread, then take heart. According to the BBC News Website today, it’s possible to bluff your way to sounding like you’ve read Tolstoy’s tome!! The article prompts two main questions from me:

1. Why would you want to bluff anyone that you’d read this book (or any other for that matter)?

2. Is this really the BBC’s best effort to inspire reading in a culture which is already dumbing down – on the one day of the year when the love and reward of books is to be promoted?

Now, back to the HP sauce bottle…




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