What Else Do We Read?

Buttons has been wondering about what other authors we Watsonians read. It may be interesting to have our members write mini-essays on this topic as comments below. We might be surprised by either the variety or the similarity of our reading pleasures. Plus, it is always fascinating to read about the literary interests of our fellow colleagues in literature. Perhaps Buttons may be allowed to start in order to lead the way:

Buttons began reading the Sacred Canon at age 8 and has re-read it completely once every year, either in the winter or the summer, ever since. This year is the 62nd re-reading of the Canon. But, he also re-reads all of the Thomas Hardy novels every fall; all of Dickens every winter; all of Christie’s Poirot every spring; and all of Kenneth Grahame’s novels every summer; plus other things around the edges, such as Solar Pons and Luis Borges in recent years. He has maintained this routine for over 38 years. As such, he seldom ever emerges from the 19th century and almost never is outside British literature, the only exception being his constant reading and re-reading of the ancient Japanese and Chinese poetry he studied at university and the collected poetry of Wallace Stevens each year.

The process of reading, for Buttons anyway, requires a large, comfortable, over-stuffed chair, a footstool, and a proper floor lamp over the left shoulder. A chair-side table is a requisite, in order to manage the coffee, and apple or two, the bowl of nuts, or the odd adult beverage. A black, round #2 pencil and a half-sheet of foolscap is there also in the event a note needs to be made, or a quiz question comes to mind. In fall and winter, a throw is added for the warmth that often precedes the inevitable nap.

Now, what about you? What are your reading interests and habits? Who would care to recommend an author or two who provided you with great pleasure and enjoyment over the years? What is your number one favorite book? Buttons can never read The Hound of the Baskervilles enough, but admits his favorite book remains The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.

6 Replies to “What Else Do We Read?”

  1. I had an intuition a couple of weeks ago to see if the great Christopher Morley had written any fiction. Since I am a relatively new. beginning Sherlockian, I was only exposed to him via the introduction to the “w” edition used in the First Watsonian Treasure Hunt. Well, what a treasure trove I found. I have been a “real” book lover all my life, but this time I opted for the books for my Nook and Kindle, many of which are free due, most likely to Project Gutenberg and are easily available. I wanted to get started! I am deep into The Haunted Bookshop which is just wonderful. The book transports me to New York and the bookshop, similar to reading the canon and living in Victorian England. It is all just perfect for fall and winter reading.

    1. Aaah! The Haunted Bookshop . . . a classic. One begins to understand the mysterious, consuming passions for book collecting reading that wonderful work. I once had the joy of working and living in an old bookshop for two years while in college . . . Various characters from Dickens would come out at night and hold forth in the dark . . .

  2. A great question! I am reading currently Arabian Sands by Wilfred Thesiger, and the works of Ibn Arabi. I have also just finished Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence. I also read the DSM IV- TR, to keep up on my profession as a substance abuse professional (CDP).

    1. “Alfie” . . . Thank you. A most interesting and eclectic selection. With nearly 800 works, you have a lifetime of reading in Arabi alone.

      1. Yes Sir, Ibn Arabi is very interesting, my favourite thus far is”Divine governance of the Human Kingdom” I am also very interested in the Sufi tradition that music brings one closer to God– a long held belief of mine. Thank You for you response, Buttons!

  3. Alfie et al:

    Have you read the ecstatic poetry of Rumi and Shams? There is an extensive exploration by the American poet Robert Bly into this tradition of the “whirling constellation.”

Comments are closed.