Monday is for Reading

Since 2011 began I endeavoured to kick-start my love affair (it’s the only love affair I gots to keeps) with reading.

Seriously I used to read like a book a week. Then I went to Uni. It kind of went down hill from there and I think since 2004 up until now I have read like 4 books a year, maybe less? and I guarantee at least half of them were from the Harry Potter franchise. I know its awful. I keep promising my brain to feed it with literature other than the one coming from (exceptionally written) Marie Claire and Elle mags I buy every month.

Book love doesn't have to be creepy love

The last book I truly, truly enjoyed reading is The Help. Up until I read that late last year it seriously would’ve have been Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. No joke that book rocks massively.  If I had said the latter I would have disgusted even myself. I pushing 25 this year, I need to stimulate my brain beyond Twilight.

To my defence I did pick up a classic in 2009 Catcher in the Rye – loved and hated it.  I even received a £25 waterstones card for my 24th from my best friend on account that I used to read so much. When I step in to a bookshop I get giddy, even more than when I step in to ZARA. I love books so much I buy them in stacks. There’s a very cheap bookshop not far from home on the corner of Waterloo Road opposite the Old Vic Theater and its dirrrt cheap. Classic books for less than £4. I love how they smell, I love the promise of adventure inside, I love that it’s basically like a little ticket to a movie show in my head. You know Peter Jackson’s production of Lord of the Rings? yeah I’m pretty sure he pulled a BFG on me and stole the whole cinematic concept from my brain.

So why can’t I bring myself to read consistently like I did before? I read> this< interesting article on the same thing, clearly its a problem shared. The author makes some valid points in the correlation between technology advancements, age and the monstrous concept of multi-tasking. I like to think I multi-task. It’s a compulsive plus in the job that I do, it’s also the sub-text that I bear as a female.

One thing for sure is that between 2004 and 2011 I have upped my Internet social gathering status. Its ridiculous,  disconcerting and probably the reason why my concentration levels are so erratic that I can’t even stop to read a hundred pages of a book. We live in a ‘to go’ culture which is frankly killing me quickly. Never enough time to read? my journey to work is a total of 20 minutes with one change in-between. There’s always something else to read, update, text, email, blog or watch than kick back, turning off and just reading. Only before you know it you’ve written a blog post long enough about said issue that when you look up at the sky outside your window the sun has gone and your bed is looking pretty seductive.

crazy fool

So I have made another pact to just get on with it and read. I have enough books to get through , all of them stacked in my hidden library and more collected in a plastic perspex box I havent opened since I left university.Incentive is to just give myself a break and be kind to my brain, also to just switch off from the matrix that is the interactive social killer web.

On my list so far?:

Faceless Killers an Inspector Wallander Mystery [Henning Mankell] – currently reading and loving this. Nordic crime genre is taking no prisoners, the world is hooked.

The Lost Symbol [Dan Brown] – say what you will about Dan Brown, he can write faction well. I loved the Da Vinci Code and I loved Angels and Demons more but its this book I have struggled with. I know it wasn’t as well received as his previous published works, but I’m going to return to it after Mankell. I have a hard cover copy which is impossible to lug around so when I went on Holiday I left it behind and picked up Henning Mankell’s book.

Pride and Prejudice [Jane Austen] – Watched almost every movie adaptation. I love it so much. I even read a zombie version. So how on earth did I bypass the real thing? I’ve always thought I read it, but it’s so big and instilled in our literary history, present and future that I manipulated my brain to think I had it down. Mr Darcy I am yours.

To Kill a Mocking Bird [Harper Lee] – It seems like everyone and their pet has read this classic. It wasn’t compulsive reading for GCSEs (exams) we read Tennessee Williams and F.Scott Fitzgerald, and when I went to college I still hadn’t divulged in Harper Lee’s momentous scripture. In fact like Catcher in the Rye I’m kind  of sacred of it. I also have never watched the movie from beginning to end. I’ve always caught it in places, I know Gregory Peck is in it…I also think I know everything about it. Its one of those books.

He know's 'bout Wallace.

Awkward situations for men [Danny Wallace] – Because it’s basically a *sorry* a 200 page version of his Shortlist magazine feature. I love that he is so cringe and says things we all think out loud. I also love that he makes me laugh on the tube between Bond Street and Shepherds Bush every Thursday. (Did you know he became a BBC producer at 22?)

Dawn of the Dumb: Dispatches from the Idiotic Frontline [Charlie Brooker]/The Hell of it All, [Charlie Brooker] – It’s Charlie Brooker and its about the failings of an industry I work in. Its synopsis basically tells me its obnoxious and funny in places. It’s a little bit of a cop-out on the intellectual front. He is easy to read and I will appear like I’m slightly knowledgeable but in the cynical anarchic way. It was an impulse by for this reason, do I really want to read about the what is essentially what I do for a living? no, Charlie Brooker I don’t.

I have a Celia Ahern book and the rest of Douglas Adams The Hitch-hikers guide series to read also Ursula K. Le Guin cast a spell a few years back so I may return to her. Plus there were a few books on the Marie Claire book recommendations list that had me salivating. Ooo I’m excited just thinking about it.


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