So Many Books, So Little Time
The Problem With Writers Is They Produce Books
Books! Books! Books!
Although I do meet many who ask me how I sustain the effort it takes to write a novel, those multi-souls who cannot string ten pages of continuous prose together should not think that novel-writing is formidable. I think the mystery of writing a novel is overrated and overstated. Recently I wrote “Dear Pattaya!!!”. It was created from emails initially and then when the emails ran out or became repetitive, I resorted to other people’s imaginary emails. The people themselves were known to me. After a certain moment I did introduce some characters who were not known and the novel moved into “pure” fiction with Brexit helping its denouement, but overall it was not a difficult novel to write, and though I say so myself, it is not a difficult novel to read. Why, the emails themselves (a page devoted to each individual email) help the reader gallop along.
I understand I am being somewhat flippant here because Flaubert took five years to write “Madame Bovary”, and I’m sure those constipated bashers and craft-smiths of words, suffering from writer’s block and existential psycho-drama-crisis, take time to produce their books…..but in general I think, after a certain moment and stage, many can put pages together.
Swamped With Books
That brings me to my title which is relevant, of course, otherwise why choose it to grace the beginning of this post? If I were not right (write?!), how come we are swamped with books?
Pattaya, in Thailand, has few bookshops – it needs mentioning. However, one of its successful ones, The Canterbury Tales Bookshop, has its owner forever facebooking his clients, associates and friends with new or second-hand returns, and he posts with fierce regularity and formidable resolve. Anyone doubting me should go to Facebook or pop on down and into the Tales Bookshop which is chockablock-full. It’s in a small soi, off Soi Buakhao. (Avoid looking at the sexy masseuses across the road. They might distract you.)
Dubious Conclusion 1
Years ago I remember reading a witty (for some) writer who was complaining about the feminists and their writing brigade. He stated, I’m paraphrasing here, that the problem with a woman writer is twofold. She reduces the number of women when she writes and she increases the number of books.
Dubious Conclusion 2
The problem is there are too many books out there, too little time to read them (if the inclination to read exists any more), and too little helpful selection to guarantee good choice. There are the classics, of course, and many besides, but paradoxically this writer ends by saying that the problem with writers is they write books, thereby increasing the number of books.