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Jul 19 2012

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WHAT DO I LIKE TO READ?

Some on-line friends have been asking me what kind of books I enjoy reading. I have to say it’s a question much easier to answer now than would have been the case twenty or thirty years ago. At one time I read because I wanted to learn – and I don’t necessarily mean at school or college.

Long after I thought ‘book learning’ was well behind me, I found myself perusing text books and journals and weighty tomes as my career took on unexpected twists and turns and I needed to keep abreast of advancing technology and techniques.

Glancing back at my opening line, the key word is enjoy. These days, with the pressures of work and deadlines behind me, I read almost entirely for pleasure. Fair enough, now and then when I’m writing and need to check something I pull down an encyclopaedia or log on to Wikipedia, but that’s part of the game, part of the fun – and certainly never a chore.

If, like me, you’ve ever had the pipe-dream of nestling down in a comfortable armchair, in front of a crackling log fire, and starting on a new book by a favourite author, while the rain and wind beat out a pattern on the windowpane, a glass or mug of something warming to hand, I fancy you’ll know exactly what I mean. Bliss. Absolute bliss.

It takes me back to when, as a kid, I read my way from the comic papers – by way of almost anything – to Wilde, Doyle, Dickens, Austen, Johnson and company. First radio and then television were counter attractions of course, but somehow, getting caught up in a good new book always had a special thrill of its own.

At first I’d read almost anything and it was a point of honour to see it through to the end; even if sometimes it fell short of expectations. That’s something which has certainly changed. There are too many books out there I haven’t read yet. Far too many tales, some still unpublished, I won’t live long enough to have the chance to read.

If a book doesn’t have me gripped in the first two chapters, say forty or fifty pages at the most, it goes into the box destined for one of the local charity shops. Perhaps two of every three books I buy end up in that box, or are given away to friends unfinished. There’s a lesson in that for all you wannabe authors out there. Don’t hang about. Make your point early. Grip your reader before he loses interest – and once gripped, make certain you never let him go.

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7 comments

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  1. Rebbekah White

    Brad, I am the same way. I love to read! I have books in print and on my ebook readers, and if a book is really good I have both versions. I simply cannot leave home without some books, so those are the ones I put on my ebook reader. I too have started when I read if it doesn’t grab my attention within the first two chapters it goes in a pile, I will give the book one more chance later on, but if it still doesn’t grab my attention I am putting it in my giveaway box.

    I love to read anything and everything, from learning new technology items, books for websites etc. to action packed thrillers, to vampire and werewolf books, to just about anything that grabs my attention at the time.

    I have very much enjoyed your writing on your blog, and have to say “well done, and I am so proud of you!” Glad to see you are writing so much on your blogs, they are always interesting and fun to read.

  2. Brad Fleming

    Thanks Rebbekah. It’s always great to receive a post like yours and to realise folk out there appreciates my efforts. Like you, I have a houseful of books and have to keep putting up more shelves to accommodate them. My wife Nip says the house is getting to be like a public library. Now that we each have a Kindle, however, we may have found the answer!

    1. Rebbekah White

      Brad, you know that is exactly how I got my Galaxy tablet, my husband was getting tired of putting up shelves or tripping over them by the night stand because I can’t seem to make up my mind which book to read….so finally last fall he “relented” and said to go get the tablet, between you and me LOL I had already gone out and purchased it the day before ROFL…he was quite surprised that I had it already the next day LOL. I had been saving for it for months.

  3. Brad Fleming

    Typical feminine wiles Bekah. – Just did a quick head count. Do you know I have fourteen bookshelves of assorted shapes and sizes – and there are still books scattered all over the place. When it comes to browsing and buying books I can resist everything – except temptation!

    1. Rebbekah White

      LOL Brad, sounds like me. It’s been worse since I have the ebooks apps. I have to set a limit on purchasing. However I must say I really miss our local bookstore. We had both a Barnes and Noble, and a Borders. Borders was my favorite place to go, I am not a huge fan of Barnes and Noble to be honest I don’t know why, when they closed down our Borders I felt lost. The only other bookstore in our area is Books A Million and I have to travel about 35 minutes to get there. Not bad however you have to get on the expressway,and can I just say I HATE driving that expressway….too many accidents…so for me if I can’t get it at Barnes and Noble or hubby drive me (which by the way not the same, I have to RUSH and I love to skim through books, feel them, smell them LOL so it takes me awhile to pick out books) anyway….glad to know I am not the only book geek around LOL.

  4. Brad Fleming

    Have you tried Kindle’s Free Book of the Day?

    1. Rebbekah White

      No , I haven’t. I will have to check into that, thanks for the tip!

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