This is one of those books that everyone seems to have read when they were younger but it passed me by. I don’t know why but I just never read it. I mean it is often referred to as one of the greatest pieces of English literature of recent years. In 2019, BBC News included it in their list of 100 most influential novels. So, there must be plenty of people out there who think it was worth reading. I just never did. Maybe I just didn’t like the idea of reading a boy’s diary? As much as I don’t want to perpetuate the idea of gender stereotypes, I wasn’t exactly interested in what a 13/14-year-old boy had to say. Or maybe it was something about diaries in general? I never wrote a diary when I was younger. I think I was always a bit too embarrassed. It seemed too self-indulgent and pathetic. Why did I think my life was so worthy that it deserved being immortalised in a diary? Part of me is quite sad I never did, especially as my memory is o bad these days. Of course, every time one of my friends tells me about reading their old diaries, I am overjoyed that I never tried. Remembering what I was like as a teenager, I can be assured that it wouldn’t make for an easy read.
I can’t remember exactly when I bought Adam McKay’s first book This is Going to Hurt but I do know that it’s been sat on my TBR pile for a pretty long time. I always meant to read it but, if you’ve paid any attention to my Sunday Rundowns over the last few months/years, then you’ll know I have a book buying problem. At least I’ve become slightly better at reading this year so there’s hope that the pile will decrease but that all hinges on me being not quite so spend happy in 2020. We’ll see how long that lasts for. The fact that his first book has remained unopened meant that I had every intention to ignore Adam McKay’s Christmas themed book. However, on a Christmas Eve shopping trip during my lunch break, I found a copy of it for a fiver and thought I’d get it. If nothing else it would be another quick read to get in before the end of the year and it might encourage me to read its predecessor. So, when I found myself ill and inexplicably awake at 5am on December 26th, I decided to go for it. A couple of hours later, I was still ill, still awake, but I was one more book ahead of my 2019 reading goal. Something that currently stands at 57/50 thanks to my festive flu.
I imagine a lot, if not all, of bookish people believe that running a bookshop would be a dream job. For me, Black Books was the thing that convinced me. If I did own my own bookshop I’d want to discourage people from going in and ruining my fun. And by fun, I mean shelves full of books. I’m describing a library. But a library that has the ability to cause my financial ruin. Although I guess every bookshop has the ability to do that. In all seriousness, I think I’d do okay in a bookshop. I’m not as judgmental as I used to be which means fewer eye rolls when people bought certain books or authors. And it’s definitely a leas hands-on job than movies and TV would like us to believe. People going into independent bookshops mostly don’t want to chat. They just want to browse in peace. I could live with that.