Reading Robert Dessaix's collection of short works And So Forth is an intellectually titillating and indulgent experience for me. Browsing the shelves of a bookshop that I often come out of empty-handed, I was surprised to discover a beautiful hardcover edition of this Dessaix gem. Deliberating due to dollar dramas, I bought it anyway because I suspect it may now be out of print.
Turns out, on the train ride home from work today, that it was a judicious purchase. One of his essays 'The Love List' resonated with me - as he urges the reader (us crazy bibliophiles) not to lust after a year of reading bliss. He talks about ever bibliophile's fantasy - time out where we can retire to say Patmos or our own reading haven to tear through those to-be-read stacks.
Dessaix is an exquisite Australian author and essayist. How true is his encouragment to pursue our own reading impetus and intensity:
'to acknowledge that you're doing this out of love -- don't be put off, don't be made anxious by people who press their own loves on you, amazed that you're not instantly seduced. What! they'll exclaim, you've never read Margaret Mead or Roland Barthes or Janet Frame or Dante? No you haven't, and possibly never will and in the grand scheme of things it simply doesn't matter'
As a guilty blogger who laments her lapse in posting, this validates the ebb and flow of my reading and reflecting. Recently, I've read some wonderful books that I'll have to share. I'm bad. I haven't blogged books. I'll never read 'the best book of your life' that I told a customer I'd sink my teeth into it. But really, does it matter?