I was listening to a podcast about reading books this morning and it started me reflecting on what I read.
I don’t have a target list of books to read but I do have a huge backlog of physical books and e-books that I need to work through. For a long time now, I have tried to read books in groups of three:
- A work of ‘literature’ or a more worthy work of fiction.
- A lighter work of fiction.
- A non-fiction book.
This is not a hard and fast rule but, looking back at the books I’ve read so far this year, it appears to be working out as a rule of thumb.
The podcast advised against having a list of books one must read because it can turn reading into a chore, like eating broccoli, and it can become more important to have read a book than to enjoy the act of reading. Ironically, this year is the first time I have tried to plan my reading ahead but only to a limited extent and not with an aim to read better books.
- Re-read The Jungle Books. My wife bought me a lovely copy that was printed here in Edinburgh in the 1930s.
- Read At The Loch of The Green Corrie
- Learn about the Darien Venture that nearly bankrupted Scotland and led to the Act of Union
- Read two novels by Graham Green — one new and re-read another.
- Finally finish the beautiful Book of Prefaces by the late Alasdair Gray
- Read my favourite novel, Sunset Song, once again.
The biggest change in my reading over the last few years is that since joining a book group I have developed more attentiveness to my reading. There’s nothing like having to talk about a book to make one think about it in a more focused way.
The takeaway message from the podcast was that reading should be fun and that can lead upstream to the great books. They advocated choosing books on a whim and I think I prefer the word ‘serendipity’ . My recommendations would be; go to bookshops, listen out for recommendations, re-read books you love, read more by those authors, and read widely. And, if you can, read to your children, let them see you reading and pass on your passion to the next generation.Posted on February 27, 2020 #Books