I’M IMMENSELY grateful that I was born into a reading family. I learned to read at an early age, and my teachers made sure we became habitual readers by dragging us to the library on a regular basis.
At home we had a relatively extensive reading library, and my parents bought everything from fantasy to the classics. They also bought two morning papers, two evening papers and a couple of monthly magazines. By the time I was 15, I read everything from Shakespeare to the text on the back of the milk cartons.
Reading had become a habit. So much so that any text would draw my attention. Words, especially in print form, were (and still are) irresistible to me. This also gave me a rather wide knowledge base. It’s impossible to read all the time without picking up information about all sorts of subjects. Including some you never even knew you;d be interested in. Like ants. I know shit about ants, and I don’t even like the little buggers.
Another positive effect of habitual reading is that the reading process becomes joyful. Something you look forward to as it makes you feel better. It can also be relaxing. Something that makes you wind down and get ready to sleep. And then there’s the sensory experience. A book can be read or listened to. But from a physical copy, you also get smell and touch. I love the smell of a fresh book and the feeling of the paper fibres against my fingers.
I still read everything that catches my eye. All the time and everywhere. The texts on a cereal box and the ads on the tube. The flyers in a waiting room and the free newspapers they hand out on the street corners. I have a kindle and the kindle app on the phone and my laptop, and I get audiobooks through audible.
I no longer buy newspapers and magazines, but I read them online. As I have to downsize, I’m (reluctantly) saying goodbye to my books and getting the e-book and/or audiobok versions instead. But the long and short of it is that I read, and consume stories in some form, pretty much all day long.
Over the last ten years, I’ve noticed a rather steep decline in my ability to retain information. I know it’s related to a health issue I have, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying. I can read a book, or watch a film and forget all about it. Or I can remember having seen or read it, but I have no recollection of what it was actually about. This really annoys me. So, what’s the solution?
Well, I thought maybe I could share my reads with you. I’ve already started to write about stories I read, watch and listen to here, so why not add all sorts of stories? I’m thinking it’ll be like a reading log, but I’ll include stuff I watched, played or listened to as well.
I have a pretty cool reading log I made for my students once upon a time. It’s stuck in my dead desktop at the moment, but once I’ve got it out of there I’ll add that here in case you want to have a printable list to keep track on your reads too.
But for now, I’m going to read Twilight and see ifI can work out what is wrong with Bella.
Bye bye, beautiful,