As I stood – as one is inclined to do – in a bookshop, one of my fellow browsers was accosted by her other half or friend who says “so, you’re buying a book then?” which is a strange statement to make in a shop that exclusively sells books but there you go. I wanted to storm over and tell him that actually she was making an investment which is much better than doing the same on the stock market. I didn’t of course because I am polite and I was watching the pennies so had to leave before I bought half the shop’s stock.
As far as our education system goes, it rightly has its critics in plenty of areas but for all its flaws, it does give the gift of learning to read for pleasure and enlightenment. Broadening knowledge and exploring stores from brilliant writers who challenge concepts, introduce unfamiliar words and work in metaphor and hidden messages makes for a really rich and rewarding written landscape. I find that I grow more through the medium of books than from anything else.
I don’t often bother reviewing my own reading habits as they are mine and are always at the forefront of my mind, yet taking a step back I noticed that the more widely I read, the more scope I have for new purchases, that in turn pushes other things out, recently it has been children’s books and graphic novels which I shall be making more of an effort to get back into.
The only area of books that is less than thrilling to me these days and I don’t mind curtailing are bestsellers. Apart from the apathy I fee for the publishers buying space in shops to promote these books, it is rare I find one that is worthy of not only a reread but bothering to finish the first time. There has been a few like The Book Thief, The Snow Child and The Night Circus (of which the circusy bits are great) that come to mind but other than that, many can’t hold my interest any longer.
Reading has shown me many wonders and as reading begets reading, then I wholeheartedly encourage everybody to push out of their comfort zone and pick up something new. One genre or type of book can only do so much for any reader and as a fairly widely read chap, I can tell you there is so much out there to admire and be amazed at. I’m not being a book snob by saying this, it is my experience of reading and if you step out and take a punt you will be surprised.
I wrote the above in a fairly expensive pub – it is quiet though on account of the price I imagine so I like to think I am paying for the peace – which explains why it is a little all over the place and as some of you know I do go out occasionally to have a pint or two (if I am frittering away money) as I do find I am more incisive at reviewing that way. I am convinced (probably erroneously) that my more interesting phrases are strung together better when out and about, I like to think that my insight is better lubricated so if you see anything you like, just remember my insides more than likely paid for your gift of appreciation.