Today sounded like Claire Maguire and Elbow, tasted like apple and ginger tea, and smelt like Tesco Cleaning Spray. Day off meant cleaning a house in dire need of cleaning.
I opened the windows, and embraced the freezing cold that came with the fresh air. The pavements outside were wet, even though it did not rain. People across the street were exhaling hot clouds of breaths and smoke, getting on and off buses, talking on phones, talking to others.
I planned my resolutions for the year. I wrote them on my new skywriting journal; every page is a picture of the sky, and my words are spreading over clouds and sunsets. On the next page, I wrote what 2011 taught me, and it only took one page. Looking at who I was and who I am now only makes me wonder who I will be by 2013. People change constantly, the changes are just too small to perceive. You just hope that you change in parallel ways to the people in your life, because if you don’t, then what?
I decided to give away 74 books from my library. Now, I know that this gasp-inducing fact might seem strange. I love my books; I love walking in and seeing a full bookcase, a testament to the fact that my eyes have travelled the vertical lines of letters that decorate their pages. But is that what my bookcase should represent?
As I was taking the books out, I was surprised to see a lot that I did not enjoy reading (If I begin a book, I have to finish it). Books that were piled behind the good ones; those I could not put down, and had to read in bed with a flashlight, getting impatient grunts from my partner.
Why was I keeping these books? Was it to remind myself that I read them? Or to satisfy my hoarding genetic tendency? Or even worse, to get the admiring look of a friend coming over for tea? I stared at the softback spines, and tilted my head. It was time.
I do not want a book case filled with books; I want one filled with books I love. And I don’t want a life filled with plans and events; I want one filled with cherished memories and people that enrich it.
So, I took the books out (followed by what can only be remembered as the 2012 DVD massacre), and decided to make a book resolution. Books that I want to read this year, and I would love to share it with you:
(From January to March)
Two books from one of my favourite authors, Ali Smith:
There but for the
Then another two from Michael Cunningham:
Followed by a trip into dystopic futures:
The Handmaid’s Tail by Margaret Atwood
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
The Crystal World by JG Ballard
Listening to stories of the human loneliness:
Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Wolf
A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
As well as art from the artist’s mouth:
On Photography by Susan Sontag
My life in a Column by Tracey Emin
Last but not least, I am planning to start April with the remaining 4 books in the True Blood series (my unashamed guilty pleasure!).
Rather excited. Better start reading!