Author: Nick Hornby
Published: 2004 McSweeney's
My Rating: 3.5 stars
Subtitled: A Hilarious and True Account of One Man's Struggle with the Monthly Tide of the Books He's Bought and the Books He's Been Meaning to Read
If you've ever read Nick Hornby, you know that he keeps you smiling. This is the second book of his I've read, but I know it won't be the last. I've noticed that his books grow on me over time. Usually my feelings about a book are solidified within a day or two after reading it, but this has not been the case with Hornby. The smiles and laughs stick in my head, and the fatalistic perspective evaporates. Unlike High Fidelity (the first book of his I read) The Polysyllabic Spree is Nonfiction. It is a collection of essays originally published in the Believer magazine in which Hornby talks about the reading life.
Each chapter begins with two lists: the books that he bought in that month, and the books that he read in that month. Then he proceeds to chat about his months in books. I love his attitude about buying books:
I don't want anyone writing to point out that I spend too much money on books, many of which I will never read. I know that already. I certainly intend to read all of them, more or less. My intentions are good. Anyway, it's my money. And I'll bet you do it too.This is a book about books. And it's funny. And it's quick to read. That's about all you need to know to decide whether you should read it or not. The reason I ended up only giving it 3.5 stars is because I was frustrated that I hadn't heard of more of the books/authors he mentioned, which I attributed to the fact that he's in England and I'm way over here in California. But, like I said, the longer it has been since closing the covers, the more it is growing on me.