Nick Hornby’s thoughts on his monthly reading and book buying habits continue with this second collection of his Believer column. I still wasn’t entirely sure what the Believer was, so I just hopped over to their website and had a quick look. I’m very pleased to announce that it’s not a Christian magazine, as I had briefly suspected. They describe the magazine as follows:
The Believer is a monthly magazine where length is no object. There are book reviews that are not necessarily timely, and that are very often very long. There are interviews that are also very long. We will focus on writers and books we like. We will give people and books the benefit of the doubt. The working title of this magazine was The Optimist.
That actually sounds pretty interesting. I notice also that the current issue has Hornby’s column, so it’s very good news that he’s still writing these. I’ll continue reading them for as long as they’re published.
It’s a bit of a hard book to write about, as I don’t really want to go through his individual recommendations. I just enjoy seeing how someone, particularly a favourite author of mine, decides what books to read. It’s monthly, so it doesn’t always focus on individual novels. He’ll glaze over some, and go into detail on others. He writes about what lead him to buy the books he bought, and I find that really interesting. He’s hilarious and a danger to all to-read lists.
He really shifts his focus in this collection to reading what interests him, rather than reading what he feels he needs to read. This doesn’t mean he’s reading garbage all the time, but if he’s reading something he isn’t enjoying, he moves on. That’s something I’ve never been able to do. I will stop reading entirely for months before I let go of a book, which is really silly.
I’ve already bought the third collection, but I’m holding off. I don’t want to power through all of these at once.