Sunday, January 2, 2011

Lured By the Past

Okay, it seems I am in danger of sinking back into the past and indulging my love of Vintage Mysteries to the exclusion of anything else - at least for now. See, here's the problem: once I begin reading - in this case, Ellery Queen - I get caught up in the ways of the past, the rhythm of the writing, the social niceties and strictures, the fashions (the hat wearing, especially, and the dressing for dinner), but most importantly, I get caught up in the aura. I'm a sucker for aura, not to mention a nice, lurid cover. The past speaks to me.

I am in real danger of fading away here.

I wonder if this happens to anyone else? If so, how do you hold it in abeyance? I'm seeking a balance here. Because if allowed to run riot, I'll go to the library and check out every Vintage Mystery author they have in stock. Balance is what's needed. Obviously. Some kind of mantra I can hum to myself when in danger of overdosing on Dorothy Sayers or anyone else from that era. Something soothing I can use to quell my Vintage mania. (I knew this would happen when I joined the Challenge, but I went ahead and did it anyway. Obviously, I must like to live dangerously.)

The ideal, of course, would be to strike a good balance between past and present, for instance, I could go this reading route: vintage, modern, vintage, modern, vintage, Victorian, modern, vintage, Victorian, modern, vintage, modern, get it. But I have a feeling I'm going to have trouble with this . Yup, trouble is coming down the pike. (I am looking around for this Ellery Queen mystery merely on the strength of the cover. Love it.)

What will happen when I begin reading Victorian classics for my Victorian Literature Reading Challenge, I just don't know.

Some cogent words of advice would be nice just about now.

Please note: I can't make out the name of the artist of the wonderfully atmospheric courtroom scene at the top of my post, but the painting is so right on the money, I thought I'd post it anyway. If anyone knows who the artist is, I'll be glad to attribute. (Or if anyone squawks, I'll remove the painting entirely.)


  1. I gave up fighting the "vintage bug" a long time ago. :-) I rarely read anything you would call modern--and then it just really has to call my name. Guess that would be why I tempted you with the Vintage Mystery Challenge. Hope you can find a balance.

    Oh..and The Chinese Orange Mystery is on my list for the challenge. My cover's not that good though....

  2. Well, I just found out that my library doesn't have as many vintage books as I thought it did.
    (I reserved what they had.)So I think I'm going to hit the used books sites online.

    I'll figure it all out as I go along. Ha!

  3. I love vintage. And am so fortunate that our local college library has a large supply. I think I may be the only one who reads them. Every time I pull one off the shelf I have to blow the dust off!

  4. Oh, Pam you are so fortunate. Well, at least my local library does have a few. I can do my part (requesting them) to keep even those few from being permanently ditched by the library. Yes, they do tend to get a little gamey. Ha! My current Ellery Queen has some very suspicious stains. :)

  5. I'm in a vintage mystery mood as well. Just finished a Gladys Mitchell. I don't tend to get stuck in one kind of reading for too long although most of my reading is in a few categories, mysteries (both modern & vintage), middlebrow between-the-wars fiction, classics, biography & history. I just tend to go round these categories endlessly!

  6. Lyn: Have you joined the Vintage Mystery Challenge? There's a category for just a couple of books. I'm doing the category with the mostest, of course. Jump into the deep end and sink or swim, that's me. ;)

    But I figured since I normally do read a lot of vintage, might as well do a challenge. (Only doing two challenges this year. Don't want to drive myself nutso.)

    My reading habits are similar to yours, though I tend to move around a bit more. I also read (and this is a newly acquired taste) a bit of fantasy and science fiction. My best book of 2010 was the cyberpunk classic, CRYPTONOMICON. My tastes are definitely expanding.

  7. I absolutely have the same issue- when I read a lot of classics at once, I find that I tend to be so much more, I don't know, "upper crust" with my writing style in my posts, and especially my commenting on people's blogs. But, I love that vintage-y feel and incorporating it into my current life. I love the ambience and that aura as well - don't fight it! You won't fade at all - if anything, you become even more who you truly are!

    So, currently, I'm reading The Passage on my Nook - so my writing style may change a tad...beware! :)

  8. Coffee and a Book Chick: I can only hope you're right. I too love the 'vintage-y feel and incorporating it into my current life.' I find myself being influenced as well. You know, something I've found out: everything on this blog is who I am. Maybe I should be leery of revealing too much, but it's all esoteric enough that mostly it will confuse the heck out of everyone. :) ('Esoteric' is the word my brother uses to describe my likes and dislikes.)


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