Nick Hornby Adds to My Reading List

May 30, 2009 at 7:24 pm (Authors Who Influence)

Yesterday I was at the bookstore looking for Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke.  I heard of the book from a friend’s blog (this friend has great taste in books) and I decided I had to read it…I had to own it.  Each day I discover a new book I must buy.  Sometimes I spend hours on Amazon and the New York Times websites making lists for future reading. My book addiction is very serious and very expensive.  So you can imagine how pleased I was when I discovered that Nick Hornby suffers from the same addiction.  While looking for the Rilke book I stumbled upon something amazing.  The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby.  The book is a compilation of essays Hornby wrote for the Believer magazine. 

Each essay begins with two lists: (1) a Books Bought column and (2) a Books Read column.  Perfect.  Just like Hornby I buy hundreds of books I will never read and usually my Books Bought column outweighs my Books Read column.  I’m happy to report The Polysyllabic Spree belongs in both columns.  I have to admit that I’ve never read a Hornby novel. I’ve picked them up many times and read the blurbs, but ultimately I always decided against reading them. Now after reading his essays I know what I have been missing out on.  A clever and comic style of writing which can’t be found elsewhere.

When I bought Hornby’s essays yesterday, I thought I was going to benefit from reading someone who understands me.  And I did. However, Hornby also contributed to my addiction by creating a craving for more of his writing.  Directly after finishing his book I went to Amazon and ordered the other two essay compilations written for the Believer magazine, Housekeeping vs. the Dirt and Shakespeare Wrote for Money.  I will be adding his novels to my must-read list, and many of the books he mentions in his essays.

My addiction continues, but at least I have a brilliant writer like Nick Hornby on my side.



  1. Sandra Robbins said,

    I haven’t read Nick Hornby either, but now I think I want to. I’ll be checking back to see if you still recommend him.

    Congratulations on beginning to blog.

    Sandra Robbins

  2. walkingaroundsense said,

    Good post. Makes me want to read Hornby.

  3. Redheadedwriter said,

    Just thought I would help pimp his site:

    And nice first post! Maybe we should start a books traded/loaned column to help clean out the storage unit my family keeps full.

    • creativelandslide said,

      My addiction is curious about all the books in that storage unit.

  4. writer79 said,

    I have the Rilke book if you want to borrow it. I love Rilke! We’ll chat at work and I’ll share my fav poem. Excellent blog! I’ve just discovered you on here. I’m new to Nick Hornby. I’ll have to check that out.

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