My reading weekend continues apace. I finished one book and have even started writing a little something about it and think I will easily finish the second one as well. Surprisingly, though I shouldn't be surprised I guess, Dorothy Whipple's They Knew Mr. Knight reads remarkably fast for a nearly 500 page book. Now I realize many of you are very fast readers, but I am very slow, so for me this is an accomplishment. Sadly, time spent doing chores has instead been devoted to reading (did I say sadly?), but it's too hot to clean anyway. As long as there are clean clothes and a hot meal on the table does it matter if it's a little more dusty than usual around the house?
I'm into the last 70 pages or so of the Whipple book, but I had to stop and share this. Although the book was written in 1934, it almost feels like it could have been written this year.
"Banks! The whole country is in a mess, trade is at a standstill, but the banks are more prosperous than ever. They're full of money. What do they want to do with it? Eat it? They pay two and a half per cent on money lent to them and charge six per cent on the money they lend. Usury, that's what it is! And what's more they won't lend except on the tightest security--and hardly anybody can produce such security now. They're so full to bursting with money and they won't use it to help little industries like mine to tide over a bad period. You've to go to them like a beggar and make yourself humble and then they turn you away. Damn Partridge and all his kind!"
Of course there is more to the story and the banks aren't the only 'culprits', but I thought that passage seemed very timely.
I hadn't actually expected to finish reading both my books and had planned to dip into Patrick Leigh Fermor's A Time for Gifts and write about it this afternoon, but I'll do that another day. I love the book and easily it will be a favorite this year, but it's not a book that I want to rush. His prose is so beautiful I want to take my time, and now I feel like spending time with it. I have no qualms about picking up novels on a whim to read (even if I am in the middle of something else), but for some strange reason I will only ever allow myself one nonfiction book at a time. This is probably why I read so few of them during the year even though I have so many I want to read and that I am sure I will enjoy. I'm a little afraid to break myself of that habit as I can picture myself with a stack of half read biographies laying around and that's probably a bad idea for someone like me.
At the moment I have 70 saved posts in my Google Reader that I want to comment on. If you've not heard from me lately I have probably read your latest post (latest posts more likely) and want to go and visit, but I've not yet had a chance this weekend, so please don't think I'm ignoring you. As always I wish I had a few extra hours in the day.
So, I'm off to finish Dorothy Whipple. No matter how rocky the story is at the moment, I suspect things are going to turn out just fine.