Books: A Memoir by Larry McMurtry started off well. He talked about his childhood and learning to read and the first books he ever owned. He talked about not being good in school and about deciding to write. And then he started talking a lot about book collecting which is fine because he is a book collector. But it got to be too much for me. I didn’t feel like I had a sense of what book collecting is like, what the book collectors and bookshop owners he’d meet were like. There were some who got expanded coverage but it all still felt perfunctory. I couldn’t keep track of who was who and what bookshop was what. I had to quit the book.
There are some great stories in it about finding a book for cheap, having it turn out to be something special and then selling it for a couple hundred dollars only to find out that it was even more special than presumed and the person who bought it for a couple hundred sold it at auction for a couple thousand. But it wasn’t enough to sustain me. I skimmed ahead to see if it was going to change at all and it didn’t look like it until the end and I just couldn’t wait that long. It’s too bad too, I really wanted to like this book and it started off so well.
That said, if you are interested in the book for yourself, maybe you are a McMurtry fan, and would like this book, let me know and I will send it to you. It is an advanced reading copy, paper cover, no art. And I dog-eared a couple pages that I thought might be interesting for blogging about, but otherwise the book is in good shape. If there happens to be more than one of you who want this book I will have my talented cat, Dickens, pull a name out of a bowl.
McMurtry was my lunchtime book and at a loss for what else to take, I’ve been taking Flaubert’s Parrot but as much as I am enjoying the book, it is not good for lunchtime reading. So I have to dig around in my piles for another book to take with me, something small and paperback and one I won’t mind too terribly if the cover gets a little worn around the edges in my bike bag. I wonder what that book will be?