More reading

The weather is being very uncooperative so I am reading today.

My last book was picked up on a campsite bookswap shelf. My first Matt Haig. I was considering buying a few more in Kindle version but have decided to read and then divest myself of a few more books that I have collected in the same manner.

Generally, I am ambivalent about "free" books; second-hand books. It seems a disservice to hard-working authors to take advantage. I enjoy buying books and I love to own books… many books. It broke my heart when I had to dispose of my collection when we were leaving Orkney.

I haven’t rebuilt my collection because… well, why? Because I have actually enjoyed downsizing and living a minimalist life? Or because I don’t currently own any bookshelves? Or perhaps because English language books are more difficult to come by and more expensive in France than in the UK?

Probably a combination of factors but, absent bookshelves or not, I seem unable to resist browsing when an opportunity presents itself. Those opportunities tend to be in a second-hand context.

The custom of leaving books behind when leaving campsites is a good one. I don’t think it is driven by simple generosity – more a need for an occupation whilst parked up and a consequent requirement to reclaim space when moving on. But I do like the way that a book is picked up at one site, read along the way, and dropped off at another site for another traveller to enjoy and to move it on again. I wish that all these books had Bookcrossing tracking labels affixed! Their adventures would be fun to follow.

But, back to the poor impoverished authors of these "free" books. Is this pool of reading actually of benefit to them? I suggest that it is a possibility. I would not have heard of Matt Haig had we not picked up How To Stop Time in Alcossebre. Now I plan to buy up his back catalogue on my Kindle. That’s good for him and it’s good for me. First though, I am dealing with another new-to-me author.

Kate Mosse is not unknown to me but I haven’t yet got around to reading her. I have been carrying Labyrinth around with me for a long time and it has travelled thousands of kilometres with me. I can’t honestly recall where I picked it up but it certainly left Scotland with me in 2016! I remember selecting the book because I knew that I wanted to visit Carcassonne. Well, we have been and I had the book out but it remains unread.

When we arrived here at Sagres I investigated the bookshelf in the social room and picked up another Mosse. The Burning Chambers stands alone until next year, whereas Labyrinth begins a trilogy and may require shopping if I enjoy it – so The Burning Chambers it is. So far I have got through the Prologue and I believe that Ms Mosse and I shall get along nicely.

When I finish this book I will return it to the shelf and seek another one to take away with me. Having already left three that we arrived with on the shelf here, I won’t feel as though I am depleting the stock.

Interestingly, there is a connection between How to Stop Time and The Burning Chambers. I liked that discovery.

Reading is such fun, isn’t it?

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