Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian. I’ve had good recommendations to read the series of historical novels of which this is the first instalment and the impending release of Peter Weir’s film (of which I’ve read mixed reviews) gave me the prod I needed. If I’m going to read a book, I prefer to do so before seeing a film of it. I enjoyed Master and Commander, but will need to read a couple more to see if I really get hooked.
I’ve also started the long task of converting my vinyl records to digital formats, going through AIFF to MP3. This is actually more work than converting to cassette, a task I once began, but never carried through. The process I’m using takes about six error-prone stages before the music ends up on my iPod. After the triviality of converting CD’s – stick it in the slot, download the info from CDBB and Bob’s your uncle – this all seems very slow. I estimate that, at one side a day, an discarding old stuff I’ll never listen to, the whole thing should take me about a year. And I’m clearly going to run out of disk space if I try to keep the lot in AIFF.
Against all that, there’s the amazing flexibility of digital music, at every level. I can do any kind of editing I want (for example, skipping over cracks in my old records and stripping out white noise) and rearrange the songs in any way I like.