I think all of us have differing reading habits, and ones that change as we grow older. I sometimes think my ‘way’ of reading must be quite odd, but maybe I’m wrong. I’ll tell you how I like to organise my reading and would love to know how others arrange theirs.
The first (possible) oddity is that I never read only one book at a time. My real preference is to have 3 books on the go. These usually fit into the following categories:
· 1. Serious reading – this can be ‘literary’ fiction, or non-fiction such as biography or a topic I’m particularly interested, usually psychology or linguistics. The book I’m reading currently fits into the literary fiction category, and is Americanah by Chimanda Ngochi Adiche. It is a beautifully written book which raises serious questions about modern attitudes to race. These are books to be read when my brain is fully awake, so usually over morning coffee or lunch. They are also a good contrast to my own writing which I usually do in the morning – no danger of me subconsciously adopting these styles!
· 2. Light reading – almost always romance. I could say this is market-research for my own writing but mostly it is just for pure pleasure. I’m currently reading Born In Fire by Nora Roberts, but other writers who I love include Sue Moorcroft, Katie Fforde, Jayne Ann Krentz, Christina Courtenay and Sarra Manning to name but a few. Cosy crime also fits in here. Lesley Cookman being a great favourite. These can be read at any time of day when I have a time to spare, or when I’m waiting for someone or using public transport, or over a glass of wine in the evening.
· 3. Bedtime reading – I have a particular requirement for this third category. It has to be something with no gore, no tension, not be a page-turner that will stop me putting it down and going to sleep. For this I usually turn to books from my childhood. Currently I’m re-reading Heather Leaves School by Elinor M Brent-Dyer. Rosemary Sutcliffe also fits in well here, as does Elizabeth Goudge who I never read as a youngster but have recently been introduced to.
And what format? My preferred format for reading is a paperback and for the first and third categories above I really like to own the book. This tends to lead to rather over-crowded bookshelves… The middle category, where I probably read the most voraciously, can also be a library book or on Kindle. Kindle is very useful but somehow not quite as satisfactory as a real book – to me!
You may ask – how do I have so much time to read? The answer is, I watch very little television and only rarely watch movies. I prefer a good book, and there are so many of them out there still to be read.
I’d love to know how, when, where and what do others read?