‘I will love a book forever
if the final pages mark my subconscious.’
From ‘The Museum of Words’
by Georgia Blain
My mother and sister and I (all inveterate readers) were talking the other day about those devastatingly disappointing books you read all the way through, from start to finish, without skipping a paragraph, because you are in the grip of a conviction that you’ll get to the end and suddenly — suddenly — all this time you’ve spent reading it, feeling love and hate for the book and its author in equal measure, will be justified.
You know those books I mean? I say ‘devastatingly disappointing’ because I am describing the kind of book that, when you do finally get to the end, you realise your time wasn’t justified at all. You realise that, on the contrary, the whole time you spent reading it was, in your opinion at least, a waste of time.
You know those kinds of books?
That’s why I love Georgia Blain’s words above.
So I thought I would make a list of books whose last pages have, as Blain so delightfully puts it, marked my [own] subconscious forever. Here they are, in no particular order:
Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier
Prep, by Cutis Sittenfeld
The Children’s Book, by AS Byatt
A Map of the World, by Jane Hamilton
The Smart One, by Jennifer Close
Me and Mr Booker, by Cory Taylor
Wasted, by Marya Hornbacher
Tell Me I’m Here, by Anne Deveson (Georgia Blain’s mother).
And, yes, the book I’ve quoted today, Museum of Words, by Georgia Blain.
What about you?
2 thoughts on “Snatched phrases: last pages”
For the first time in years, I’m not reading my book club’s book choice this month. A well-hailed book, I found it excruciatingly boring and realized my time is better spent reading something I like. After all, I only have so many more books to spend time with in what’s left of my years, why waste time reading awful books when there are so many good ones?
I’m absolutely with you there, Eliza. I used to feel compelled to finish a book I’d started but now I think it’s better just to move on to another book that might be more my kind of thing. Reading should never be a chore. As you say, life’s too short!