A Demon in My View by Ruth Rendell

Written in 2017:

Late last year we were offered the library of an avid, widely read deceased uncle of a friend. He had a habit of writing angry comments at the front of the books he disliked. I can do no better on this occasion than quote him: ‘Another bad one.’

I’m really surprised that this is a seventies Rendell, I thought her work from that period would read better. Have I overrated her in the past?

I do wish I could have kept the entire library of this stranger-to-me. Going through his books, picking one and discarding another – as it was, we kept maybe a couple of hundred of them – his scathing commentaries almost urged me to read the books, I could see some companionship in agreeing with him. Can you get anything like that from a kindle? With the book comes so much more than the book. Books, paper and glue books, touched in ways that are passed on to the next reader, value added, if you like. Long may even the bad ones live.

5 thoughts on “A Demon in My View by Ruth Rendell

  1. I have a Kindle, it serves some of my multiple reading needs, but my first choice is always a real book. I do love books with notes from former readers or owners.

    • My bottom line, Silvia, is that it’s great people read. What they read on is entirely secondary. My beef is more when other people try to get me to read on one. I can see a future where, most likely, my eyesight is bad enough that a kindle seems like a precious gift – I’m assuming you can choose the font size. But for now, I love my books.

      And the other thing is that it upsets me when people have no books in their home. How can that be? How can you a kindle as a replacement for all books? How can a place feel good with no books in it? That I cannot understand!

      • I’m with you on that one. My house is full of books, they give me warmth, they are read, they are lovely decor, priced friends. I see my Kindle and a reading aid, never the main nor the ultimate goal. For example, before I can get my hands on Eco’s book on translation, I can read it on the Kindle. It’s also good for the pool, night and car reading, but never a replacement or the main and only holder of my books. I too am very upset by how many people don’t have books at home, and what a sad existence a life without them.
        My mil at 74 still reads books. But if you ever get a Kindle, I have the Paperwhite which is not like an iPad, no good for browsing the Internet, just good for reading. It works in the sun and it has a non harsh light that doesn’t damage your eyes, to read at night, battery lasts forever and ever, and it holds lots of books. There’s many public domain titles I have, along with some I buy sporadically.
        But there’s no rush or need for many to have an ereader. Many of my friends don’t care for one, LOL

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