The joy before words

The road goes ever on and on


I used to read a lot, and every book I read, it was my ambition to read one without needing to look in the dictionary.

I scribbled down each word on bits of paper and stuck them on the doors and walls with masking tape.

invidious, emoluments,virement,abstruse,recondite,horse

I lived to read and always tried my best to remember new words and who had taught them to me.Each book I read i knew more and more words.I read Dostoyevsky. The russian court and property owners spoke french at the time.

I wrote down the french phrases, but they didn’t count.

I read portrait of the artist of the young man and Ulysses.

The writing growing in complexity as Stephen Dedalus grows from boy to man. In Ulyssess it goes even further. Hundreds of pages written representing seconds of a persons thinking life.

Lesson one : Don’t leave it on your desk at work.

You’re supposed to be pretending to do things.

The peak

I moved on to Umberto Eco. The most abstruse,recondite, farrago of… that I had ever come across.That was the last straw. It was beyond me.I met my limit.Besides, I don’t think I’d been outside for about five years.

I read books by Italo Calvino, if on a winters night a traveller, translated from the Italian. A character in the book actively tries to learn how not to read.

I forgot what happened in the end.

The trough

I descended from the peak, and was happy learning new words, and whether in a book or, more rarely in real life, I tried to remember who taught me a word.

I’ll never forget that feeling of racing to the last page, at the same time, reading slowly – as the book nears it’s end.

I wished it would never end.


I still hadn’t read an entire book without knowing every word.

Then it hit me.

I should have been reading Children’s books the whole time.

That’s more my level.

7 thoughts on “The joy before words

  1. There are some books that aren’t meant to be read I think. At least that’s what I tell myself when a book is so abstruse I can’t finish it because I fall asleep and end up feeling like a failure.
    I read two pages of The Devine Comedy. That is a Brazilian friend’s favorite book. His first language isn’t even English yet he read it in English and loved it. I had such an adverse reaction I put it down very quickly and came to the conclusion stated above. I too should have stuck to children’s books.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Some books, though difficult to finish, offer unexpected rewards for perseverance. I had a long standing ambition to read Lorna Doone. I did eventually and, oh, what wonderful language and sentence structures there are. However, it is the only title that survives in print from the author that few people could name.

    Liked by 1 person

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