At a time of sickness, too much sickness, in fact, to be able to string many words together, I find myself neither reading nor writing, whether about the reading that isn’t taking place or anything else for that matter. While I’m ill, all books have become resistant in that manner that certain books are under any circumstances. In my case, attempting to read anything is currently as fruitful to me as making yet another attempt at Ulysses, Tristram Shandy, or The Sinking of the Odradek Stadium. Each of these titles then, it would surely follow, has something about it that renders the well mind unwell. A contagion in book form perhaps? And I know from others that there are many such books that scramble the brain so – the unfinishable despite the best intentions.
Perhaps there should be a fail list of these hard-to-read titles on the Internet? Perhaps, in the light of the comments above about sickness, it could be called the Sick List? Readers could consult it so that they could source secondhand copies and thus avoid paying full-price on words that, let’s face it, would either make little sense if read or else remain unread and contribute to a guilty conscience. There’s a market here for a book that goes through the Sick List and offers, book by book, pain killers and remedies for readers who have failed.