I don’t think that I’ve made it a secret that Hornby is one of my favorite authors. I like him. He makes me laugh and he makes me think and he has a way of telling a story that puts a kind of distance between the story and the emotions involved that I really enjoy. But it is my absolute favorite when the man takes on something he loves, like reading.
Ten Years in the Tub is a collection of his columns in The Believer called “Stuff I’ve Been Reading”. Each column starts with a list of books bought and a list of books read, two lists that rarely sync up. Hornby’s columns are about books, sure, but what they are really about is reading: How we get from one book to the next and how reading effects our daily lives and vice versa. Plus, they are funny and brilliant and wise. Hornby’s insights into why we read what we read and what makes this or that book wonderful are so smart that I kept reading bits out to Hubby.
This was one of those sneaky books that includes four books plus new material so there were bits of it that I had read *cough* a few times. Still, I never tired of reading about someone else who loves reading and thinks about it both deeply and with humor. Also, I glowed with pride when Hornby read one of my favorite books of all time and said he would defend against a soccer hooligan any day.