Unlucky, Jim

I left my copy of Kingsley Amis’ Lucky Jim, which I was halfway through reading, in a cubicle at the swimming pool. I blame L. He was faffing around while getting dressed, going all blue-mouthed after an icy dip, and I had to intervene. So I pulled it out of my back pocket and stuck it on the little bench. I imagine it resides their still, although now it is probably bloated and water-damaged and unreadable.

I hate losing books. I once claimed when we were students (and I was prone to such grandiose declarations) that I would rather lose my wallet than the book I was currently reading. A, quite rightly, scoffed at this. But a part of me holds to it still. I last lost a book in 2002, when I left my copy of Gravity’s Rainbow in a rucksack in the cinema on Broad Street in Birmingham. I can’t remember the film I went to see. I’ve got another copy of Gravity’s Rainbow now but that is hardly the point.

It feels wrong to put a book down without finishing it. It feels even worse not to have the chance to finish it because you have lost the bloody thing. Ho hum. Maybe they have a lost property box at the pool.

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