Monday Hunk Who Reads – Colin Firth

By Rathika Mawtus [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Colin Firth

What? No book in the pic? Before we move on to the awesomeness that is Colin Firth, first a little housecleaning. The Monday Hunk Who Reads feature is now in a different format and schedule, due to the blog post by Roni Loren about usage of photos in blogs. Basically, it boils down to: I was doing a big No-No all this time. I immediately pulled down all the articles and am slowly working my way through to get permission for the photos. I’d thought that if I attributed/linked back, I was fine, especially since it promoted a good cause–reading. So, if you’re wondering where they all went, that’s why. There’s a few back up now, especially the most popular: Dan Stevens.

What this means going forward, is that if I cannot get permission to post the photo that features our hunk with a book, I will only be able to link to it. So that means no opening glitzy photo. From here on out, the opening photo will most likely feature the hunk without a book that is in the public domain.

Like above!

It also means, since more work will be involved, and more lead-time needed, that this feature will only be published on the first Mondays of each month.

Actually, I’ve been wanting to do Firth for a while, as I knew he was a reader, but could not find him with a book, so I couldn’t profile him. Now I can!

Now onto Firth and books…

According to this article in the Belfast Telegraph, Firth is an avid reader and “views his books as ‘old acquaintances'” and loves his collection of books. It turns out though, that this Kindle skeptic has become a convert.

“[I bought] a Kindle. I was a skeptic-what about the feel of a book, the smell? But I found it surprising how unimportant that became,” he told People magazine.

“No [I haven’t switched over completely], if I love a novel, part of me just wants the book. The picture on the cover. And I like glancing up at books on my shelves. They’re rather like old acquaintances.”

Colin feels transformed by the works he’s read that were penned by his favourite authors.

“William Faulkner would be on the list-The Sound and the Fury. John Cheever’s stories, Richard Ford,” he shared. “I’d never read Jane Austen before I [played Mr Darcy] in Pride and Prejudice; she was a revelation. I went through every book and wished there were more.

In Oprah’s column “Books That Made A Difference,” Firth shared:

When I’m really into a novel, I’m seeing the world differently during that time—not just for the hour or so in the day when I get to read. I’m actually walking around in a bit of a haze, spellbound by the book and looking at everything through a different prism.

I’m paraphrasing terribly from a theory I came across years ago, but there was this idea that everyone leads a kind of secret life. All of these things are going on around us that we don’t process consciously but that stay with us. There’s a school of thought that inanimate objects can make you feel certain things and you don’t know why. You pick up a green mug and you drink coffee out of it and you’re not thinking about anything except whether the coffee is good or bad. About an hour later, you feel depressed and you don’t know why. Perhaps the mug is exactly the same color as your grandmother’s. You’re aware of the emotion but you didn’t know your subconscious went through a whole thing—remembered something, relived something, and fed it back to you.

So a book can pull out responses that would be dormant otherwise. I find that a very valuable thing to have as a possibility. I’m not simply responding to the author’s vision. The joy I take from a book is mine. It comes from me.

So what else does he like to read? in the above Oprah article, it says he “goes for psychological intrigue, moral mud puddles and lyrical truth-telling.” In another Oprah profile, this is what’s on his bookshelf: Rainer Maria Rilke’s The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory, Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s The Leopard, David Gates’ Preston Falls, Anne Tyler’s Saint Maybe, William Faulkner’s Light in August, and Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections.

About Rilke’s book, Firth says:

I don’t think I’ve ever read such descriptions of what it would be like to lose your grip. He has a vision that makes you less sure of your surroundings—and I find that stimulating.

About Greene’s The Power and The Glory, he says:

This is about a man—the whiskey priest—on the run in a Mexican state during a purge of religious figures. The most poignant thing in the story, for me, is that the priest has had a child. He wants to repent, but how can you find salvation when you can’t hate the sin? He’s stuck in that paradox: The one thing that prevents him from repenting is love. That so interests me—the idea of looking for spiritual salvation in what is otherwise an impossibly compromised life.

Be sure to click through and read the rest of what he thinks about each book he’s named above.

According to this article on CBS, Firth would sometimes skip school to read! He’s also lending his talent to recording classics for Audible.com. In this article, he states that he’s reading John Fante’s Ask the Dust, about Los Angeles in the 1930s.

Reading is sexy people!

So that’s this month’s Hunk Who Reads. If you like these articles, please comment. They’re fun to write, but are time-consuming :) — on that note, if you run across any photos of hunks reading, please let me know. If you know of an intellectual hunk you’d like to see profiled, let me know that too.

For further opportunities to idolize men and books:

Do you have any photos of male celebrities reading?

Come back next month to see the next Hunk Who Reads…

Past Hunks Who Read/Related Articles:

*previous Ovaries Exploding Award winner