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The Polysyllabic Spree
The Polysyllabic Spree | Nick Hornby
Shares selections from the author's column in "The Believer" that comment on literature he has found interesting, and features passages from the material discussed.
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britt_brooke
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This was fun! Thanks, Stephanie, for putting this series on my radar. Originally written for the arts and literature magazine The Believer, Hornby wittily chronicles his monthly reading (this collection is from 2004). Each chapter begins with a listing of what he purchased versus what he actually read that month. My TBR has grown a bit! I really appreciate a writer who‘s also a prolific reader, book buyer/hoarder, and thoughtful reviewer.

Reviewsbylola So glad you liked it! I‘ve read the series twice now and I keep praying he‘ll release a new one, but I don‘t think he‘s written for the column (or at least published it) in years and years. One of the best books I‘ve read was because of the column. 2mo
Suet624 Oh I loved this book too! I added so many titles to my wish list because of this book. 2mo
britt_brooke @Reviewsbylola I‘m planning to read that one! 2mo
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britt_brooke @Leftcoastzen I‘m trying to figure out if Ten Years in the Tub is a compilation of the one I just read plus the other 3 in the series. Do you know, by chance? 2mo
Leftcoastzen I can‘t figure it out ,Tub runs from September 2003-June 2013 2mo
britt_brooke @Leftcoastzen Ok, thanks. I‘m confused, too. I‘m thinking Tub must include all from the 4 book series, plus more. Idk. @Reviewsbylola Do you know? 2mo
Leftcoastzen Two I loved he mentioned 2mo
britt_brooke @Leftcoastzen Thanks - stacking both! 2mo
Leftcoastzen Hope you like them ! I know I read more of his suggestions but those two made it to my brain first .😀 2mo
britt_brooke @Leftcoastzen A good sign of worthwhile reads! 2mo
Reviewsbylola Yes, it includes all the books, plus a few extras. 2mo
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britt_brooke
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“Books are, let‘s face it, better than everything else.”

He‘s referring to cultural entertainment, but I think this applies to most things, tbh.

LauraJ I think he would agree with you. 2mo
Reviewsbylola I think I need to reread this ASAP. 2mo
Reviewsbylola I bet it would be good on audio! 2mo
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britt_brooke
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Someone evidently offloaded their #NickHornby collection at Goodwill, so I snatched them up. Some of the others will be rereads. In all, it‘s a fab #bookhaul for just $9!

@Reviewsbylola - Isn‘t The Polysyllabic Spree one of your favorites?

ElizaMarie Never read any of his. Maybe I should check them out? 4mo
britt_brooke @ElizaMarie I‘ve only read one of his books, but it‘s been so long ago, I remember nothing about it. Hoping these are good! 4mo
Reviewsbylola Yes!!!! Love Polysyllabic and Housekeeping v. the Dirt is also part of the collection. I‘ve read a few of his fiction too, including How to Be Good. I need to read more! I love that you got Sedaris too! 4mo
britt_brooke @Reviewsbylola I love Sedaris! I‘ve read Holidays on Ice a few times but somehow didn‘t own a copy. I‘m listening to Theft by Finding right now. It‘s a reread, but sometimes you just need some Sedaris on audio to reset your brain. 💚 4mo
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Reviewsbylola
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Just another excuse to post one of my favorite books/series.

#whatafoolbelieves: is this not us anytime we buy books? There‘s always a justification—we‘ll read it right away, it‘s a favorite author, the cover is so amazing, it just sounds so good. 😂 Nick Hornby lays it all out, and attempts to justify his book buying habit. #marchintothe70s

L_auren This is on my list. Love his books 5mo
Reviewsbylola You‘ll love it! @L_auren 5mo
BookNAround I loved this book! 5mo
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Hooked_on_books Have you read Ten Years in the Tub? I just loved it. 5mo
Billypar I would love to read an entire compilation of book lists of authors sharing what they read/bought last month. 5mo
Reviewsbylola I have but it‘s just a compilation of this and his other column books. Still good though—I think the ending had a few new columns that weren‘t in any of the previous books. @Hooked_on_books 5mo
Leftcoastzen I read the other one ,I love that he is honest to say what he bought and what he read .my lists like that would be embarrassing,too many bought and not enough read 5mo
CarolynM I'm going to have to read this book just to find out what Nick Hornby made of the Ern Malley affair😂 5mo
Reviewsbylola If he ever read it. 😆😆 @CarolynM 5mo
Cinfhen I remember when u tried this approach 🙄your books bought vs your books read!! I‘m not brave enough to lay that all out on paper or maybe I‘m no fool 😂😘 (edited) 5mo
Reviewsbylola It got tiresome, that‘s for sure! @Cinfhen 5mo
gradcat Ditto @Billypar , @Leftcoastzen & @CarolynM Just that. ‘Nuff said. 5mo
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Purrsistently
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Our libraries become more and more able to articulate who we are

KathyWheeler I love The Polysyllabic Spree. 1y
Louise So true. One can learn so much about a person by looking at the titles on that person's bookshelf. 1y
Purrsistently @KathyWheeler I need to actually read it yet. 😻 1y
KathyWheeler @Purrsistently If you like it, there are follow ups to it that are also good. 1y
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Mindyrecycles
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RaimeyGallant We should totally play this game, lake zombies versus vampires but with books or characters. 1y
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Mindyrecycles
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Thanks to a hot tip from @Reviewsbylola I ordered these Nick Hornby essays! I tried not to get library discards but that one on the end snuck in. Oh well, it'll read. 😂 #bookmail

Reviewsbylola I hope you love them as much as I do. I am so glad I enabled both you and @LeahBergen 🤣🤣 1y
KathyWheeler I loved every single one of these books. 1y
LeahBergen @Reviewsbylola My copy has shipped. 😂 1y
ReadingEnvy I had to space these out because they made my tbr so heavy! 1y
ApplesandSpindles These are all in my list of favorites. I love them all! 6mo
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Reviewsbylola
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When I saw the prompt for #readingresolutions today, I couldn‘t wait to post. One of my favorite series EVER is by famous UK author Nick Hornby. It‘s a compilation of the monthly column he used to write for Believer magazine, “Stuff I‘ve Been Reading.” Every column starts of with two lists—books Hornby bought that month, and books Hornby read that month. The crossover is always interesting. I wish there was a more recent addition. Please Nick!!!

LeahBergen I‘ve always meant to read these! Are they all compiled in 1y
LeahBergen Or does that leave some of them out? 1y
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Jas16 Love these so much! 1y
Reviewsbylola If I remember correctly, it is the columns from all four books combined AND a few new ones. @LeahBergen 1y
Mdargusch Sounds great! 1y
Nute I got these in the compilation book, Ten Years in the Tub, and my enthusiasm is as high as yours for these articles. 1y
Lissa00 I LOVE these books. This makes me want to go back and read them again:) 1y
emilyhaldi Huh! I bought this book based on your recommendation and never read it 😕 but it‘s in a box somewhere!! Will read someday!! 🤪 1y
Zelma @LeahBergen you would love Ten Years in the Tub. It‘s my comfort re-reading/bedtime reading. I am on my 4th(?) re-read. So so good. 1y
LeahBergen Well, that settles it. I must order! 😆 @Reviewsbylola @Zelma @Nute @Jas16 @Lissa00 1y
Reviewsbylola Yes, for sure order it!! #blameitonlitsy 😂 @LeahBergen 1y
LeahBergen Umm... it was ordered last night. 😬 1y
Reviewsbylola Yessssssss gurl!!!! 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 @LeahBergen 1y
ApplesandSpindles I LOVE these! I always hope for another. 6mo
Reviewsbylola ME TOO!! I check all the time and am always disappointed. @ApplesandSpindles 6mo
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jdtchicago
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Cathythoughts Thankyou for the tag. I will think 🤔 & make my list 👍I will make another list ( I think I did one) this will be list 2. 😉 (edited) 2y
Suet624 By the way, I loved that you picked The Opposite of Loneliness. I thought it was quite good. 2y
Suet624 And I have my computer with me this weekend (as I babysit one grandson while a granddaughter is being born) so I can peruse my list of books read and pick out 17. It was a great year of reading. (edited) 2y
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DGRachel Hamilton is on my list to read this year and I listened to Born a Crime year before last, I think and loved it. Great list! 2y
Cinfhen Oooh, nice mashup of genres💟I'm curious about a bunch of your NF especially the two by Harari 2y
Cinfhen Exciting news @Suet624 hope your daughter/ daughter in law has an easy delivery 💕💕💕💕 2y
Suet624 @Cinfhen thanks so much. The first time was tough. I hope this one is easier. 😓 2y
readordierachel Born a Crime is on my list too! 2y
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jdtchicago
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Gezemice Thanks for the tag! Just saw it because I was offline for a while. Born A Crime was my favorite for 2017, too! Great choices! 2y
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jdtchicago
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Pickpick
Wbabdullah Thanks for the tag @jdtchicago! Love your #17in2017! (edited) 2y
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jdtchicago
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jdtchicago
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ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Good stuff on here! Thanks for the tag! 2y
Cupofjo Thanks for the tag! Some of those are on my tbr list!! 2y
mjdowens Definitely a few here will be joining my TBR. Thanks🤗 2y
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jdtchicago

Needless to say, drink, drugs, food, and sex played no part in the festivities. But who needs any of that when you've got literature?

Cupofjo You rock!! Thanks!! 😂 2y
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jdtchicago

Defeated misery is what all sport is about, eventually, if you follow the story for long enough; all sportsmen know this.

Suet624 I've been saying that for ages! And still I persist. 2y
RaimeyGallant Great quotes:) 2y
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jdtchicago

We fought, Wilkie Collins and I. We fought bitterly and with all our might, to a standstill, over a period of about three weeks, on trains and aeroplanes and by hotel swimming pools. Sometimes – usually late at night, in bed – he could put me out cold with a single paragraph...Only in the last 50-odd pages, after I‘d landed several of these blows, did old Wilkie show any signs buckling under the assault.

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jdtchicago

Zaid's finest moment, however, comes in his second paragraph, when he says that "the truly cultured are capable of owning thousands of unread books without losing their composure or their desire for more."

That's me! And you, probably! That's us!

ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled I might lose my composure a little, but that's due to glee, so I guess that doesn't count 2y
Suet624 That's fantastic. 2y
Desha 📚❤️❤️📚 2y
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jdtchicago

So this is supposed to be about the how, and when, and why, and what of reading -- about the way that, when reading is going well, one book leads to another and to another, a paper trail of theme and meaning; and how, when it's going badly, when books don't stick or take, when your mood and the mood of the book are fighting like cats, you'd rather do anything but attempt the next paragraph, or reread the last one for the tenth time.

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jdtchicago

Where would David Copperfield be if Dickens had gone to writing classes? Probably about seventy minor characters short, is where. (Did you know that Dickens is estimated to have invented thirteen thousand characters? Thirteen thousand! The population of a small town!)

Desha I love this section on Dickens lol 💛😜☺️ 2y
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jdtchicago

I don't want anyone writing in to point out that I spend too much money on books, many of which I will never read. I know that already. I certainly intend to read all of them, more or less. My intentions are good. Anyway, it's my money. And I'll bet you do it too.

Joyfulmimi Indeed 2y
mjdowens Every day Nick, every day🙄 2y
Suet624 Oh I love this man. 2y
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jdtchicago

Books are, let's face it, better than everything else. If we played cultural Fantasy Boxing League, and made books go 15 rounds in the ring against the best that any other art form had to offer, then books would win pretty much every time. Go on, try it. “The Magic Flute” v. Middlemarch? Middlemarch in six. “The Last Supper” v. Crime and Punishment? Fyodor on points. See? ...I'm still backing literature 29 times out of 30.

ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled This may be kinda fun to draft a March Madness of books 2y
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jdtchicago

All the books we own, both read and unread, are the fullest expression of self we have at our disposal. ... But with each passing year, and with each whimsical purchase, our libraries become more and more able to articulate who we are, whether we read the books or not.

ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled Im going to have to put this in needlepoint and hang it above my TBR stacks 😜 2y
Suet624 So good. 2y
Desha @ericas_flyleafunfurled ❤️❤️❤️ 2y
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everlocalwest
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Pickpick

I'm not as funny nor as good of a writer as Nick Hornby but I've been keeping a journal of the books I read and my immediate thoughts upon completing them since 2006. These are my #notebooks for #riotgrams

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BarbaraJean
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Pickpick

I thought it would be fitting to show this little book ("one man's struggle with the monthly tide of the books he's bought and the books he's been meaning to read") up against the tide of unread Christmas gifts.

I enjoyed this collection of essays about reading & keeping up with a looming TBR. My reading interests don't completely overlap with Hornby's, but I still very much related to his thoughts on the reading life!

Centique I read this too but the title here was Ten Years in the Tub. It was a fun read! Made me think about how much the reader brings to the book too. 3y
Centique Ok it seems that Ten Years is a collected version that includes Polysyllabic Spree. 👍 3y
BarbaraJean @Centique That's so interesting! It looks like Ten Years in the Tub came out ten years after Polysyllabic Spree--so more recent material, too. 3y
CathyC I read Polysyllabic Spree some years ago, and enjoyed it very much. Hornby is a fun writer. Or maybe I should say his books are fun to read. 3y
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BarbaraJean
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"Being a reader is sort of like being president, except reading involves fewer state dinners, usually. You have this agenda you want to get through, but you get distracted by life events, e.g. books arriving in the mail/World War III, and you are temporarily deflected from your chosen path."

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BarbaraJean
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"I read 55% of the books I bought this month--5 1/2 out of 10. Two of the unread books, however, are volumes of poetry, and, to my way of thinking, poetry books work more like books of reference... So, if it's OK with you, I'm taking the poetry out and calling it 5 1/2 out of 8--and the Heller I've read before, years ago, so that's 6 1/2 out of 8. I make that 81 1/4%! I am both erudite and financially prudent!" ?This is my kind of logic!

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BarbaraJean
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I had this plan that I wouldn't start any new books before the end of the year, so I could focus on finishing the three I'm in the middle of. Then my in-laws decided to exchange gifts early today, and I got this, and I am weak. I'm reading it now.

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saresmoore
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The weirdest thing happened: When I was ordering a couple of books for homeschool, a stack of other used titles just leapt into my shopping cart! 😬Thanks, Better World Books! #bookmail

valeriegeary Oops! 😂 3y
UwannaPublishme 😂👍🏻 3y
LauraBeth 👏👏👏 3y
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LeahBergen It's so scary when that happens. 😏 3y
Nonaroo This strange thing happens to me all of the time! 3y
saresmoore @valeriegeary @UwannaPublishme @LauraBeth @LeahBergen @Nonaroo It's probably some sort of mysterious computer virus...I'm almost certain it will happen again! 3y
obviateit 😂❤️ 3y
saresmoore @obviateit Has this happened to you yet? Beware used book sites with a benevolent mission! 3y
obviateit @saresmoore not yet! We've been making it through so far with just my childhood stockpile of books and the library card. I'm dreading [i.e., eagerly anticipating] my future of homeschool book buying! 😄 3y
saresmoore @obviateit Oh, please send me an email so we can exchange info! I have loads that I would love to pass along! saraesmoore @ gmail Also, good for you. That takes some serious planning and perseverance! 3y
ephemeralwaltz AWESOME! I love buying from BetterWorldBooks, nice to see others supporting them! 3y
obviateit @saresmoore Oh my goodness, that would be amazing! Thank you so much!! I will email you tonight! 😊😊😊😊😊 3y
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Reviewsbylola
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This is probably my favorite series ever. Nick Hornby's column "Stuff I've Been Reading", published in Believer magazine. Every few years he published a compilation of his columns and I am always checking to see whether a new one is about to be released. I love talking books so this column is a fun way to add to your TBR list! #24in48

Imagineannie Oh, man, I didn't know this existed. Thank you!!!!!! 3y
Reviewsbylola I hope you enjoy them! @Imagineannie 3y
LLindsey A collected volume of all the years was published as Ten Years in the Tub 3y
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Reviewsbylola I don't own that one but I did read it recently because it had a few unpublished columns at the end. @LLindsey 3y
LeslieO I love this series. I read and re-read them! I always track my books read but after reading these I also track books purchased. Purchased always outpaces read. 3y
Reviewsbylola I would be so nervous to track my books purchased but I always love that he does that! @LeslieO 3y
ValerieAndBooks Love these! They're both funny and observant. 3y
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KendallMorganHall
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Pickpick

This is an interesting book in a series comprised of long essays by well-known authors. In this book, Nick Hornby talks about books he has bought, books he has read, and books he hasn't read. I'm not sure that description sells it but I liked it enough to give it four stars on Goodreads.

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