I find long books awkward and a tad daunting. It's the physicality of it: those awkward first pages and the imbalance between those pages read and those remaining. My index finger saving my place on page 15 of 1079. The feel of those pages unread is the daunting thing, the thinness of those first few a perennial disappointment. It would be far more comfortable to jump in around 450. Until that first chunk is read the book feels like a prop, a weighted block of pages merely there to provide an illusion of intellectual superiority.
It's a peculiar insecurity. One easily solved by voracious reading. Like the gap left by a missing wisdom tooth, I will dwell on it until I forget to, then rediscover it again with the next unread tome.
I'm on a train north again; returning from a fleeting London visit to see my parents and catch up with some friends. I never have enough time in London. I always leave with a drop or two of regret, mulling those things I didn't do and those folk I didn't have time to see. The feeling lingers until after Newcastle, usually dispelled by the Northumbrian coastline and the calm that comes with crossing the border back into Scotland.
There's a young couple at my table on the train, restricting my nesting. My giant tome stays shut and I'm currently debating a nap. It's the flat part of the trip - there's not much to see outside. The sun's finally creeping out from the neutral overcast above. I'm struggling to stay awake, but I always worry I'll snore when there are people at my table.