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.
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.
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?:
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.
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.