Some of my Brisbane rellies recently came to stay with me. I discovered that my aunt borrows many books from her local library, which she loves. But the only downside is that she has to return them within a few weeks. So she has come up with a formula to ensure that she finishes reading them. Whenever she borrows a book she divides the number of pages by the number of days remaining before she has to return the book to the library. So if she has three weeks before a book is due back and the book is 500 pages long, she knows that she has to read an average of 24 pages per day. If she borrows more than one book then that number obviously shoots skyward. When she was visiting she said she had to read 68 pages a day. I am a slow reader, so I was a tad incredulous at that number. But I was fascinated, so I decided that I would head off to bed that night aiming to read 68 pages before turning off the light. I think I fell asleep at about page 28.
When I read books I usually have deadlines by which to finish them, but I’m lucky in that they are a little flexible. I would never have thought to divide up the pages into the available time to make sure I finish a book. Do any other gr readers do this? Or do you have other ideas you can share on how you manage to fit your books into the time you have?
This year just seems to have whizzed by even faster than last year. Every year I think about the sort of holiday I would like to take, and every time I think of the 1995 film A Month by the Lake, based on the novel by H E Bates, who also wrote The Darling Buds of May. I’ve always thought it would be wonderful to plonk myself in a huge guesthouse on the edge of Italy’s beautiful Lake Como and spend a month just wandering at the lake’s edge and taking the time to absorb the scenery. To ‘dress’ for dinner, to have a range of fascinating and quirky characters who were also staying at the guesthouse to dine with and talk to, and to spend my days reading in the Italian sun, having adventures on the ferries going to other little towns and attempting to drive on the crazy Italian roads in a little Fiat 500.
But unfortunately not this year. Instead we close our doors just before Christmas and I will head for the veranda with a pile of books, a cup of tea and Baxter lying at my feet in his usual position, on his back with his legs in the air. Still, it’s bliss. All I need is someone waving a palm frond who will wake me for dinner. I might even ‘dress’.