Well, I've done it...picked up a copy of Catcher in the Rye this afternoon, so my other reading will have to be put to one side so I can read it before I see my student on Tuesday. He is in Sixteen's class, so is also studying it. It has, therefore, become imperative that I update my very hazy recollections of the book so we can have discussions that are rather less bluff on my part!
Chatting with an old high school friend today, I mentioned this blog and he said he'd read it if he got a special mention... So, I hereby mention you - but not by name, you know who you are - and I encourage you to contribute to the discussion on J.D. Salinger by letting me know your memories of Catcher in the Rye, since we'd have studied it together. I'm sure we were in the same English class - you can let me know that too!
Reading The Postmistress this morning with my breakfast, I was struck again by how much I enjoy coming back to a book (and please let it be so with Catcher...). As I mentioned in my last post, this is a new book that I've only read the once. My tendency with most new books is to read through them in one fell swoop - Twentysix said to me once, when he was in his teens that I "eat books" and he's probably not far off with that description. There's something about a new book that means I just have to get to the next page, and the next, and then next - and then all of a sudden, I'm on the last page and I've run out of story. I remember some books when I've forced myself to read more and more slowly, conscious that I'm nearingthe end and not wanting them to finish. I think it's why I get so frustrated with short stories.
The bookshop this afternoon was a place of huge temptation. It's the first time I've been in there for ages - it was our small local one that I love. I was looking for a small gift for Dearly Beloved - it's his birthday tomorrow. The main gift is coming next week, but there has to be something to open on the day, so I was hunting through the various shops we have near to us waiting for that small, quirky, right thing to jump up and say 'I'm what you're looking for', and nothing did. So, I took me to the bookshop... I think I combed every last shelf. I was holding a mad little thing in my hands for ages - one of the small books they have all over the counter, you know - books with no categories, the nonsense books. This was a pocket sized colouring in book of Yves St Laurent fashion sketches, complete with swatches of the original fabrics printed on the pages for inspiration. Great fun, but not quite right. There was another colouring in book in the children's section that I contemplated for a mad moment - with drawings by Andy Warhol - this is a truly cool little bookshop! And then, in the art section I found it - or it found me - a delightful little book called David Hockney's Dog Days. It's just a little landscape format paperback, and didn't cost very much, but Dearly Beloved has this thing about miniature dachshunds - I don't know why, but there you go - and David Hockney had two dachshunds. The whole book is sketches and paintings he did of them. I don't think they were ever intended as serious paintings - there is a comment he makes that's in the introductory text to that end - rather that they were his dear and loved companions, and they were there...so he drew and painted them.
All in all, not a bad day. Not much reading, a lot of writing - all the week's freelance work done - a good long walk this morning and some highly successful shopping. So now, with a clear conscience, I can go curl up with Catcher and feel virtuous even, since reading it is also work, given I need to have a more current familiarity with it to keep up with Sixteen and my student!