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31 Songs by Nick Hornby

In February 2003 I broke my ankle while taking a short cut across the Inner Distribution Road in Reading and was off work for two months.  After the first week of agony, the pain subsided and my life then became a battle against boredom and the wasting away of my leg muscles.  To combat the the latter I would lie on my back and waggle my legs in the air as if I was walking; to combat boredom I would listen to the radio.  

One of the highlights of that time was a Radio 4 serialization of readings by Nick Hornby from his book 31 Songs.  This was broadcast in the mornings, just after my wife and daughter had left the flat.  I would get dressed, stagger through to the kitchen to make myself a cup of coffee (a non-trivial operation on crutches), lean my crutches against the wall and sit down at the table with my ankle propped up on a stool.  And then, because it had taken so much effort, I would sit there for the next hour or so listening to the radio.  And during one week, each morning this down-beat sounding middle-aged man would come on and talk for 15 minutes about some pop song that he liked.  Most of the songs he talked about I had not heard of but, in spite of that, I began to look forward to hearing him.  There is a fascination in listening to someone enthuse knowledgeably about something, no matter how trivial that something might be.

Well, in time my ankle mended, I learned to walk again, went back to work and my life returned to normal.  Then, a few months ago, I was wandering through Waterstone's one Saturday morning when the cover of 31 Songs caught my eye.  I bought a copy there and then, and read it over the next few days.  And yes, it was enjoyable, but not as enjoyable as listening to the radio programs when I was stuck in our flat with nothing else to do.  And no, I have not bought any CD's as a result of reading this book, but  I did use Google to find a free downloadable copy of Royksopp's Night Out.

Reader Comments (2)

I think your reading is too heavy. You should lighten up a bit - I recommend Famous Five - Enid Blyton.
January 17 | Unregistered Commenterlizzy
I would rather dip my head in a bucket of offal than read Enid Blyton. By the way, how are you getting on with your Dickens? Hard Times was it? I would have thought that was rather "heavy".
January 17 | Unregistered Commentertristram

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