A.J. Walker


Reading, Damn Reading

I always now seem to set myself a target to read forty books a year. Some people smash that, others don’t read one. Obviously I find people who don’t read books weird – it’s akin to not being arsed about music. But maybe it’s the way people have been brought up. I guess for people who haven’t regularly read it may seem a strange thing to get into. I know some people who say they struggle with the habit but love reading. Hell, we all have other things that get in the way.

This year the thing that got in the way was this damn virus of course. I know some people have found a load more free time but I’ve been working full time either five or six days a week throughout. And let’s face it whatever we are going through individually it is a stressful time. So even when I have had time to read I hadn’t been reading as much as I did the last couple of years. I raced through books in January and February but fell away and a long way behind my forty books pace between March and May.

Don’t know whether it is because I’ve grown used to the stress of the death of everything but I caught up with where I should be come to the sixth months. I’ve now read 22 books and so with 18 left to reach my goal then that’s just about one book a week from August (or to put it another way 15% of a book per day: not entirely sure that is a better way of putting it).

One thing that was difficult between March and July was the closure of all the second hand shops. No browsing of second hand books in Oxfam and the like. Horrendous! My first time back in the book shop in Penmaenmawr I ended up buying six books (for the princely sum of £10).

So far my reads this year have comprised (K: Kindle, SH: Second Hand):

‘Moon Over Soho’ - Ben Aaronovitch (K)
‘Whispers Underground’ - Ben Aaronovitch (K)
‘Broken Homes’ - Ben Aaronovitch (K)
‘Travels with my Aunt’ - Graeme Greene (SH)
‘Bottled’ - Stephanie Ellis (K)
‘A Wizard of Earthsea’ - Ursula Le Guin (SH)
‘The Tombs of Atuan’ - Ursula Le Guin (SH)
‘Flowers for Algernon’ - Daniel Keyes (SH)
‘Fleet of Knives’ - Gareth L Powell (K)
‘The Subtle Knife’ - Philip Pullman (SH)
‘Light of Impossible Stars’ - Gareth L Powell (K)
‘Sunfall’ - Jim Al-Khalilli (K)
‘The Mercies’ - Kieran Millward Hargrave (K)
‘Slipping Through’ - Miranda Kate (K)
‘About Writing’ - Gareth L Powell (K)
‘How to Argue With A Racist’ - Adam Rutherford (K)
‘The Last Day’ - Andrew Hunter Murray (K)
‘One Last Time’ - James Hampson (K)
‘How to Build a Time Machine’ - Brian Clegg (K)
‘Scouse Gothic: the Pool of Life’ -  Ian McKinney (K)
‘Username: Eve’ - Joe Sugg (SH)
‘The Psychology of Time Travel’ - Kate Mascarenhas (K)

There’s a few things of note in my reading so far (other than my impeccable taste). Firstly there is not a single new book bought there from this year or previous years. Secondly there are a lot more Kindle books than usual. This is because of the lockdown and it being impossible to go into shops (new or second hand) during that time.  I have read loads more on my Kindle this year that’s I have in previous ones. To save you counting them there’s SIXTEEN Kindle books there and just SIX second hand ones.

I am fairly sure until the next lockdown comes that there will be a few more actual physical books being read for the second half of the year. Maybe some of those ones I got from Penmaenmawr for a start and the second of the His Dark Materials Trilogy too (which I also bought from there last year or the year before...).

Not sure I will get to forty books, will have to see how the second half of 2020 goes. Right now that really is anyone’s guess.
blog comments powered by Disqus