Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Picture this

Pictures, you asked. Pictures you'll get. Well, actually only a few of you suggested that I might add pictures to my posts to attract people who are too lazy to read. Personally I don't think a blog on reading should try to attract people too lazy to read - but I thought I might as well offer the eager reader something besides words, words, words, as Hamlet so memorably mumbled.

To tell the truth, I've been toying with the idea of adding pictures for quite a while. We live in a visual age, after all, no use denying that. Even really serious novelists like WG Sebald had made use of photographs in their work during recent years. Not that I'm aiming for a really serious blog. The idea has always been to have fun producing it - and if I can provide a bit of enjoyment to those reading it, so much the better.

Still, I couldn't see the point of simply using publicity pictures of book covers or authors with my posts. Nor did I want to exhibit myself on my blog; that's why my official profile picture shows only one eye and a few fingers, the rest of me is comfortably hidden behind a book. But then this very same profile photo got me wondering. I asked myself how many ways one could possibly find of hiding behind books. And I started experimenting...

So today I offer you a non-view of myself (you'll have to trust me on this) behind a few of the books I've praised during the past year. A picture truly paints a thousand words, I realise once again. I also added pictures of me hiding behind other books to some of my older posts. Do have a look and let me know what you think. I'm beginning to suspect this could turn into quite an enjoyable past-time - not Hide and Seek, but Hide and Read.

I even used a picture of a young family member (or at least the arms and tongue of a young family member) with a post, The president, the professor and the police officer, from August this year, because the colour of her T-shirt and tongue went rather well with the splash of bright pink on the cover of Zadie Smith's novel On Beauty. I might use family and friends in future too, but rest assured, they'll always be anonymous behind a book. (Or next to a book or under a book or whatever.) This is still a blog about the joys of reading, not about the joys of family and friends.

Mostly, though, it will be me you'll see (or not see, preferably) with a book. If nothing else, it could at least prove that I've physically handled the book I claim to have read. Just in case you had any doubts.

Meanwhile, happy reading.

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