No One Round Here Reads Tolstoy: Memoirs of a Working-Class Reader

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No One Round Here Reads Tolstoy: Memoirs of a Working-Class Reader

No One Round Here Reads Tolstoy: Memoirs of a Working-Class Reader

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It’s about the schools, the music, the people – but pre-eminently and profoundly the books and authors that led the way and shaped his life.

The Smiths were mandatory listening back then when I was a student, but he took it to a much deeper level than most.It's about schools (bad), music (good) and the people (some mad, a few sane), and pre-eminently and profoundly the books and authors (some bad, mostly good) that led the way, shaped a life. This particular example functions as part biography, part memoir and part explanation of how a working-class boy from a poor area of northern England came to love books so much. This one took forever, because despite or because it being an “easy” read, and conversational in style nearly, every other book was more tempting.

Hodkinson outlines his dilemma with an opening story about a recent house move and the need to transport all those books. I felt like I was living a parallel life: part of me on the sandy streets of Algiers, drinking strong coffee at Celeste’s restaurant; the other slightly feverish in snowed-in Rochdale. It’s easily done if you acquire books on a regular basis, seldom discard any and are lucky enough to live into your mid-fifties…. At one point his lists all the book subjects in the various rooms of his house; front room, living room, kitchen, top of the stairs, landing, bedrooms, office, loft and garage.Hodkinson's imagery and sparks of comedy make it an enjoyable read, and his Northern, gravelly narration adds to its realism. From the discovery of a copy in Boots the Chemist, who once were booksellers, to the fact the author still reads the book once a year. I was relieved to realise that my own personal library (now at 900+ titles) is perfectly reasonable… but equally terrified to learn new-to-me terms like BABLE (Book Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy). The bit that described paraphernalia he's found in second-hand books (inscriptions, frontispieces, bookmarks) was beautiful. It’s a sad fact of this day and age, but with this fact libraries need to bend and re shape themselves to encompass so much more and embrace the new.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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