Sunday, 8 November 2009

Books vs Cigarettes

I'm reading Books and Cigarettes by the indescribably wonderful George Orwell.

At the beginning of the piece George Orwell tries to calculate the worth of his books. What struck me, what I wanted to post about, was the fact that he didn't include paperbacks! I suspect that in Mr. Orwell's day they must have been rarer or printed later but I was still so surprised- especially in the context of my recent post about only needing paperbacks to be happy- well in terms of books anyway.

George Orwell is perhaps the writer I admire above all others, especially in terms of style. He says nothing that does not need to be said and his every word, whether he is writing fiction or articles, is necessary; it's as if he's writing for me. If he didn't feel that paperbacks counted then perhaps virtually my entire book collection doesn't count. That probably isn't what he means though, I'm sure it's just a change in the times- but that's interesting in itself isn't it- that it's really such a luxury to buy a hard back nowadays- certainly for my friends and peers anyway.

The book is bliss by the way, of course; it's ideal to carry in case of extended waits for buses or friends as it's a slim volume of joy and it would be a fantastic stocking present if your mind, like mine, had turned towards parcels and you know what.

4 comments:

Metropolitan Mum said...

These days books most certainly win for me. Not that I had read an awful lot during the past seven months, but I have smoked even less.
Did you know that George Orwell died in the UCH? Little L was born there.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Another great recommendation... I love when writers get their point across with non superfluous language... something I aspire to myself! xo

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

Great suggestion and I do really need to read more.

"Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength."

Rose said...

Hi MM- I didn't know that no although it makes sense. How wonderful that she was born there- a true Londoner she will always be then.

Hi Daily- oh me too, it's so much harder than it sounds too isn't it. His writing is just perfect for me.

Chicncheap- I think we all feel we need to read more. I've had a bit of a feast the last few weeks but I just never normally feel I have the time- or I start reading before bed and fall asleep book in hand!