The Book’s The Thing…

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Anyone who knows me will know that one of the great loves of my life is reading. I have never counted, but would guess that I have over two hundred books in my possession. At this moment (not as this sentence is being typed, obviously) I have an eBook open on my laptop (Charles Darwin) and about two or three books that I have in my reading list. I have autobiographies, humour books, books of collected columns and more. In my room, there are books taking up much space on my shelves that I have to do reorganisation every once in a while. I have books behind books, on top of books and hidden away in boxes. So as you may have gathered, books are kind of my ‘thing’. I’m not sure how I grew to love reading so much (apparently I used to hate it when I was younger), but I’m glad I did.

What I love about reading is that no matter what book you’re reading, if it’s a good one you’re involved in it. You can absorb knowledge and interesting little nuggets from factual books, while a beautifully crafted tale can make you marvel at the wonders of the human language. Say anything you want about Jules Verne, for example, but he knew how to write a thrilling adventure story. Around The World In 80 Days is a damn good read. You can read the plot summary on Wikipedia or somewhere and yet you’d still read it because you want to see how it turns out.

In the same vein, somebody once asked me that if I’d already read a book, why would I read it again? The truth is, I forget the books after a while, so I read them again to refresh my memory, laugh at the jokes again or relearn something that I’ve forgotten. All of the books on my to-read list are ones that I’ve already read, apart from the eBook.

My love of writing probably stems from the part of me that loves books, because I read a good one and I think that I would love to write something like that. So that’s part of what this blog is for, to shape up my writing skills. It also means that I can gauge the reactions of others to my writing and see what needs to be changed and such. I read Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events and they hugely influenced me. I cared more about grammar and writing styles, I learnt what words meant, appreciated the humour that the author used. They kept up a good story while teaching you something at the same time. I like books like that, it feels that I’m getting more than just a good read.

Some books you will never get on with, no matter how much everyone raves about them or how famous they are (this is why I don’t try and force my tastes on people). For some people, the works of Jules Verne and Arthur Conan Doyle might fall into this category, while for others they might not agree with The Da Vinci Code. Those examples are highly contrasting except for the same common element: they draw different people in, who then rave about them to like-minded (and sometimes not so like-minded) people.

One of the things that I will need when I am older is a study, lined with books and containing a nice comfortable reclining chair or hammock to lie on and read, while serene music plays in the background.

With that said, I’m off to read a good book. I highly recommend that you do the same.


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