I don’t usually record my book hauls because A) I usually buy books one or two at a time rather than in piles, and B) I didn’t know there was such a thing until recently. But this month has been exceptional because of a phenomenon that occurs to me every summer, albeit excessively this year: I realize the vast oceans of time in which I have the freedom to read what I want (compared to the extreme lack of time I have during the semester) and I promptly assume that this will be the summer that I will finally read all the books.
Yesterday I read Aucassin et Nicolette, basically in one sitting. I am reading a lot of French literature this summer because I have comprehensive exams in the fall (!!!!!!!) and I need to prepare. So here I am, reading medieval French literature that I would otherwise never pick up, but in this case I was pleasantly surprised.
Aucassin et Nicolette is a chantefable, which is a blend of prose and song, but in book format it was a blend of prose and poetry. It’s the story of two lovers who face many obstacles, of course, but Aucassin does silly things like wonder how he will be to express his love for “sa douce amie” Nicolette if his enemies cut his head off, or dislocate his shoulder as he dismounts his horse because he is thinking about Nicolette instead of what he is doing.
Considering that this was written somewhere between the 12th and 13th centuries I was surprised at how often I laughed out loud and really, really enjoyed this. I’m not a huge fan of anything written before 1750, which is a huge amount of texts, I know, and really weird considering the history of the English language is fascinating to me, but it’s just a personal thing. Too many women being forced to decide between suicide and convents, in my opinion. I gave A and N 4/5 on Goodreads.
In other news I decided to join Camp NaNoWriMo, which starts in July, to help push myself in thesis writing and comps preparation. I’ve never done any sort of online or community writing, so I am looking forward to it.
So I decided early this morning, as soon as I woke up, that “Books, in other words” would make a great name for the idea I have had in my head for over a year. To my surprise and delight, that name is not taken pretty much on any social media site, so it is mine, all mine.
This idea I have had is to document what I read, not only by making a list but by writing about my reactions to them. I read a lot, for myself, for class (French and TESL MA), for work (writing tutor and instructor), and it all becomes a mess of stories and information in my head after a while.
For example: I have read four books in as many days and that makes me happy because my TBR pile is, well… it’s gigantic right now. It always has been, but for some reason this summer I have decided to go extra crazy. I need a book buying ban soon, probably. But back to the point, which is that I need to talk about this! About all of this stuff going on on pages and pages of books, for myself, so looking back hopefully I won’t think to myself, I really liked that book, I wonder why…
So this is books, in other words, in my words. It also means that books, in other words, save my sanity.