Books

READING

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I read a book. Actually I cannot recall when I last read a book that way, just picking it up and the next day I finished it.

I used to read a lot. I remember when I was done with my last exams at architecture school I walked straight to the Helsinki Public Library with a wicker basket and filled it with fiction. I binged for a couple of months.

Reading seems to go in waves for me. Having a child and a couple of jobs really does a number on one's free time so being on sabbatical can pay off in unexpected ways and this is one. Obviously I am not carrying books with me but our hotel has a book exchange, a big shelf which provides a random selection of paperbacks. I picked one that looked interesting and it was, a story about Japanese people in California.

The intriguing thing about this book is that it had no characters and no real narrative plot. But it advanced at good pace and kept me interested all the time. It was like a list of collective observations, a bit like a talking chorus.  Even though there was a narrator you couldn't really tell which experiences were hers and which belonged to others. A very cool structure of writing. And the subject matter is deeply human and engaging - I learned a lot from this book.

I like skillful writing, and I like short sentences. Language as it was used in this book becomes something else, more than the sum of its parts. It's a bit like music - very inspiring.