When I was a kid, I was a voracious reader. From the Little House on the Prairie books, to all things Judy Blume and beyond, if I could understand it, I wanted to read it. I read my Grandpa Jack’s books on birds, and Nanna’s recipe books.
I was a regular at every local library, and if the weather was poor, spent my recess and lunchtime in the school library, reading every. damn. book. And if it even mentioned the word ‘horse’, well, look out, because I read that sucker cover to cover to cover to cover to cover.
In fact, my single most valued possession, sadly lost over the years, was the Black Stallion series of books by Walter Farley. Thanks to my Nanna, I was also introduced to the All Creatures Great and Small series, and some of my most fond memories are reading those, under the willow tree in Nanna’s front yard, my dog Tobie at my side.
Reading effectively defines my younger years, through high school. I recently re-read Flowers for Algernon because I remembered loving it so much in Grade 12. And then university came, and as (don’t laugh), a philosophy major, I read – a huge amount.
The reading became not only a hobby, but a requirement. Soon, as I entered my fourth year, I was reading less and less for pleasure, as time, and desire, were limited. And it never really came back.
Sure, over the years I have read some books. Terry Pratchett is a firm favourite, and I have read the Harry Potter books out of curiosity in the beginning, and because I enjoyed them in the end. I will also admit to destroying a portion of my brain with both the Twilight, and 50 Shades series.
I read both only because of their wild popularity. Well, that’s not quite true. I read the first four or five pages of the first book of both series because of their massive pop culture status.
I read the remaining pages of all the books in each because I’m no quitter, and once I’ve started something, I have to finish it. Those are hours of reading, and my life, I’ll never get back. Ever.
There are some authors out there who, quite frankly, owe me an apology. The only upside of it is that in both cases, I borrowed the books, so they cost me nothing. But I digress.
In this job, if there is one thing I can tell you I do, it’s read. I read thousands of words every week, and reading has become, at times, a chore. And reading anything for fun has absolutely and officially come to a screeching halt.
But I don’t want that to be the case. Add to that I love to expand my working vocabulary whenever possible, and, you guessed it, fair readers – I am venturing back into the world of reading for pleasure. Red Room reading, if you will.
So, what am I going to delve back into the world of the literary with?
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
I’m so determined, that today I ventured into the virtual land that is Abebooks, and ordered myself a brand new copy.
I have my towel at the ready.
See you next week.