Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! All you have to do is grab the book you’re currently reading, open to a random page and share two sentences from that page. But make sure you don’t share any spoilers!
This week teaser sentences come from a book I borrowed from the library. In recent years I’ve not been the biggest fan of pre-read books, mostly because I like knowing that I’m the first person to read a book, but also because I don’t know where the hands of the reader before me might have been. I’m not a germaphobe, but I hate the thought of reading a book that someone else may have read while they were sitting on the toilet. Or something like that.
Anyway, with study meaning that occasionally I need to venture to the library for a particular book and with my book buying spinning out of control, I’m gradually getting over this.
The other day I borrowed a couple of books by Primo Levi, a writer whose work I’ve wanted to read for a while. He was first brought to my attention in a discussion of another of his works, If This Is A Man, in which Levi recounts his experiences during his time spent in the death camp of Auschwitz during World War Two. I’m yet to read If This Is A Man and the second of his autobiographies, The Truce, but even without reading them I know that they are probably going to rip out my insides and stitch me back together.
The first of his books I’m reading is called The Periodic Table, in which each chapter is inspired by an element of the ‘periodic table’, forming a memoir of sorts. I just started reading it last night so I’m not too far in, but already the only word I can use to describe it is ‘wow’. Here are the teaser sentences, these taken from the chapter titled, ‘Hydrogen’:
“It was enervating, nauseating, to listen to lectures on the problem of being and knowing, when everything around us was a mystery pressing to be revealed: the old wood of the benches, the sun’s sphere beyond the windowpanes and the roofs, the vain flight of the pappus down in the June air. Would all the philosophers and all the armies of the world be able to construct this little fly?”
And now, a couple of questions: First, what are you reading this week, and second, how do you feel about pre-read books?