Programming is on hold (well, at least as far as doing anything new; I have been busy maintaining). I’m cycling as much as ever (five to six days a week), plus the Tour de France is on, but I find I have nothing to say about cycling - just yet anyway. Photography, well, best not mention that lest I get too depressed. And I’ve been busy resetting my “career” by seven years. So all in all I’ve had to struggle around to find things to write about this month, hence the last post about music and this about books.

I had one of those slow dawn of realisations (a common theme for all areas of my life) that I wasn’t reading books anymore. Well, not books that I wanted to read anyway: Either kids’ books (to kids) such as Harry Potter and, quite less recently, The Princess Diaries (actually very well written); Or borrowing the eldest’s books set by school (Tom’s Midnight Garden, which was as good as I remembered it, and The Wind Swinger; started fantastically); Or my wife’s hand-me-downs such as Lovely Bones. God, that was almost cripplingly depressing. Superbly better than the film, but as a consequence it left a gloom that hung around for weeks afterwards. I’m not reading the copy of One Day she has - I’ve seen that film.

I decided to see what modern classics I could find that were out of copyright and thus readily available to me, that is: free and downloadable - I’d like to join a real library, but it’s just not practical for me. This way I can have a window set aside in Tmux just for reading books and I’ve never going to lose my place and I can dip in whenever I have the opportunity.

First up were Animal Farm and 1984 as I’ve never actually read those. They are more similar and more miserable than I thought they would be. In a way, Animal Farm is just one epic build-up to a punchline. I’m now onto the Lord of the Flies because I’ve never read that either; I did read books when I was younger, honest; I even read Jane Eyre through choice and then had to read it again when we got set it at school.

Next up is the Brothers-Karamazov because if I can read that I’ll feel incredibly cultured and intellectual - perhaps moreso than when I tried to read Shadows of the Mind.

I am sure there are a lot more books I can find now I’ve put my mind to it. And probably some happy ones too.