The Polysyllabic Spree

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The Polysyllabic Spree: A Hilarious and True Account of One Man's Struggle With the Monthly Tide of the Books He's Bought and the Books He's Been Meaning to ReadThe Polysyllabic Spree: A Hilarious and True Account of One Man’s Struggle With the Monthly Tide of the Books He’s Bought and the Books He’s Been Meaning to Read by Nick Hornby
Published: 2004

I’ve been meaning to pick this up for ages. It’s a collection of Nick Hornby’s monthly column, from a magazine called The Believer, where he discusses what he read over the previous month, as well as what he didn’t read. It’s essentially a professional book blog.

I don’t want anyone writing in to point out that I spend too much money on books, many of which I will never read. I know that already. I certainly intend to read all of them, more or less. My intentions are good. Anyway, it’s my money. And I’ll bet you do it too.

Hornby buys a lot of books each month, and he makes no excuses for it. In fact, he even admits to having no immediate plans to read some of them. He enjoys browsing bookstores, he buys books on a whim, and he doesn’t feel guilty about that. As someone who has been struggling to not do that for the last couple of years, I both admire this and loathe it. It justifies my own hoarding habits (he’s smart and a professional writer and does it too, so there), but it also makes me want to run out right now and come back with a armload of books.

I don’t reread books very often; I’m too conscious of both my ignorance and my mortality.

I’ve reread a few books this year, which is not something I normally do (for the reason stated above). I think listening to audiobooks, which really increases my book intake, has helped that somewhat. It doesn’t feel like such a waste of an opportunity when I have another book on the go at the same time.

Books are, let’s face it, better than everything else.

Reading this presents the same problem as reading other people’s book blogs – your to-read pile could very well explode. Mine grew by quite a bit, and there’s still three more of these collections to go through. I’m going to need another bookshelf, by the time I’m done.

I really love reading about reading. It seems silly, but I love it.

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