I cannot remember a time when books were not part of my life. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of being read stories by my dad and going to the local public library with him, where I was eventually allowed to choose my own books. I do not remember learning to read. That may sound strange, and I suppose I must have struggled with it as most kids do at some stage, but it is not something I can recall. Sure, I can remember making mistakes with unfamiliar words and misunderstanding things as a child, but not the actual transition from having stories read to me into reading for myself. Maybe I found it easy, I really cannot say, but one thing is certain and that is that reading has always been something that has given me pleasure. As a youngster I would race through books – the six you were allowed by the library were often not enough to get me through the week until the following Saturday, especially in the school holidays.
I am pleased to say it is an interest that has stayed with me into adulthood, even surviving being forced to read particular books while studying English literature at school! Buying and reading books is one of life’s great pleasures for me. While Amazon and the Book Depository offer a bigger selection and, in many cases, better prices – especially when it comes to titles only published in the US – there is nothing quite like going into a bookshop and taking your time choosing your latest purchases from the shelves. While I am quite happy to adopt new technologies in other areas, such as downloading music, I prefer a physical book. I have toyed with the idea of an e-reader, especially for travelling, but I just don’t think it would be the same.
These days, I read quite a wide range of things. I like thrillers and crime novels, also historical fiction (of which there seems to be an increasing amount in recent years), biographies, travel writing…… the list goes on. Favourite authors include Wilbur Smith (who inspired my love of Africa), Lee Child, John Lescroart, Nick Hornby, CJ Sansom, Greg Iles and many more.
The main thing is that a good book is something you can lose yourself in completely and that is something I appreciate more than ever with the pressures of work, finance and life generally.
No doubt I will use the blog to share my thoughts on things I read!