Tuesday, 23 February 2010

I have more bad habits than I realised....

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Stuff and Nonsense by Amy Cockram is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

I'm starting to feel a little bit demoralised by writing this blog. I never thought that I had so many bad habits. I have just thought of a couple more - and that's without trying very hard. I dread to think how many I could come up with if I tried.

I am compulsive. I am a big fan of Eddie Izzard, and yet I have never managed to fully watch his DVD, "Definite Article," without getting distracted. This is because his set for this show is a huge, open book on which a page of various texts is projected. I always end up trying to recognise which book is being projected. I can get a few of them - I remember some Spike Milligan - but, every time I watch the DVD, I get increasingly frustrated by the ones I can't recognise. In fact I am now thinking that I have to watch it again. Not because Eddie Izzard is brilliant - he is, and this is one of my favourite shows of his - but because I want to try again to recognise those damn books.

A few years ago I read "Wonder Boys" by Michael Chabon. This is one of the rare instances in which I prefer the film version to the book, maybe because I saw the film before reading the book. I actually don't think I can recall another instance where I prefer the film to a book. Anyway, there was one section in the book with which I felt a strong connection. He writes of a character (I can't remember her name, but the Frances McDormand part in the film) who is a voracious reader. If there is no book available, she will read anything to hand. I do that. In the absence of a book I have been known to read the backs of shampoo bottles.

I'm nosy. And again I am only talking about books. If I go to someone's house and books are on display, then I will gravitate to the bookshelves to see what's there. I might try to be circumspect, but you will probably see me edging nonchalantly towards them.

Likewise I'm not really a gossip, and I don't listen in to conversations on public transport - but if you are sitting near me on a bus or train, reading a book, I will feel compelled to try and see what you are reading.

So, please, take pity if you are reading on public transport and, out of the corner of your eye, you notice a woman looking furtively over. It could be me. Please be kind and move your book slightly. It need only be for a few seconds, but just long enough for me to see the spine or front of what you are reading. If you don't I will be in torment for the whole journey.

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