Tuesday, 27 October 2015

I've been reading lately...

With a divided mind I have decided to rejoin the ranks of People Writing About Themselves On The Internet. Here goes...

I love to read. It’s one of my things. A few days without reading and I’m getting edgy, scratching at the carpet and darkly plotting how to find a few moments in a quiet corner with some well crafted and delicious words. 

I like the old books best. New ones lack a sort of class, or maybe it’s just that they haven’t yet proven themselves against the years. They still may. There’s non-fiction as well as novels, I go through phases. Something about the author, title, the cover, or just the way the book feels in my hands causes a flicker in my mind so I follow the words, page after page to see where they lead.

I don’t know where this urge to read comes from. It’s tempting to say it’s from a desire to know about the world, to understand human nature, to connect with the stories of others and hence to find my place in the greater story of the world. But that doesn’t explain it. It’s more true to say that it’s just how it is, and the best thing I can do is to keep on following the urge. Might as well ask a tree why it grows toward the sun.

There’s a bit of a problem though. I’m not sure if it’s because I race so frantically from one book to another, or maybe I’m not paying enough attention as I read, but I forget a huge proportion of what I have read. It wafts away like summer rain evaporating as soon as it falls. I know I’ve read Slaughterhouse 5 but I couldn’t tell you much about it, and I don’t recall the plot of Wuthering Heights, Brave New World or Walden.

So I thought I’d write my thoughts about what I’ve read, in a little series as long as my enthusiasm lasts. Not so much book reviews as book reflections. How this book fits into my life story and, what it has given me. I’ll not share too much of the plot, I promise! And I’ll try to keep them bite-sized. That’s my plan, and you’re most welcome to join me.


  1. GREAT idea Steve! I'd love to share your reading journey. I have exactly the same problem as you (must be in the blood!) re. forgetting what I've read - even if I LOVE the book. What is that? It's so annoying. Maybe recording in this way will help us both remember. And I'd love to read some of your favourites.
    I've just finished re-reading one of my favourites of all time: simple little (old) book from Barbara Kingsolver - The Bean Trees. Have you read it? If not I'd love to lend you my copy cos it's got a lovely inscription in it from your Granny.

    1. Hi Kate, maybe it is hereditary! But until just now I'd never thought of the advantages of this forgetfulness - you can read the same book over and over, and each time it's like new. Like a goldfish swimming round its bowl being amazed at each turn of the corner. I'd love to borrow The Bean Trees, I've read a couple by Barbara Kingsolver but not that one. Thanks!

  2. Hurrah for your glorious return to the blogosphere; I'm so glad you're back at it. I'll be interested to see if your idea of writing about the books you read helps you to remember them. Hope you're doing well, mate.

    1. Hey mate, thanks for saying hi! I'm going really well, hope you are too.