I had the pleasure of receiving two audio books from Naxos Audiobooks this week. They sent me Vanity Fair and Swann’s Way, both of which are on my Read This Spring list. But, that’s not the overwhelming part.
The overwhelming part is that I spent an hour downloading them on my PC, then many hours more transferring them to my iPod. Apparently I needed to download iTunes version 9 thousand and whatever, completely reset my iPod which was unbenownst to me synced to my iPhone, then reorganize my ‘library’. Which isn’t a library at all, it’s a list of songs and audiobooks inside a little metal machine.
My husband said, in helpful response to my frustration, “You have too many gadgets.” Upon which I instantly diverted my hostility to him. It wasn’t fair to do. Or, pretty.
Unfortunately, I have to admit he’s right. I have an iPod mini (which I gave to my son) and an iPod Classic. I have a Nook 1st generation, Simple Touch and Simple Touch with Glowlight (which I gave to my mother). I have an iPhone4s and an iPad mini. It’s ridiculous. The amount of gadgets I own practically equals the amount of crimson lipsticks in my drawer. Well, almost.
As I was listening to the first book of Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past, I revelled in the slow pace. Some people may think it’s a bit like watching paint dry, the slow pace in which his thoughts unfold. We spend the first three tracks listening to him talk about sleeping, or his bedroom, or his mother’s kiss. Yet read this one simple sentence: “For many years have now elapsed since the Combray days, when, coming in from the longest and latest walks, I would still be in time to see the reflection of the sunset glowing in the panes of my bedroom window.”
It creates the most lovely imagery for me! I can see the dusk, when everything turns that soft shade of blue (l’heure bleu as Guerlain calls its fragrance named for that moment). I can see the glow shining in the panes of his bedroom window. I can feel the coolness of my cheeks which occurs after an evening walk, and I’m melancholy for the simplicity of walks. Bedrooms lit with a single lamp. Voices down below while I lay in the nest of my bed.
I’m hungry for a simpler life, one with real books and more solitude. For as Proust wrote, “Reading is that fruitful miracle of a communication in the midst of solitude.” It’s one of the greatest joys of my life.