This Reading Life

I love reading. It has been a constant source of pleasure and joy in my life. From the fairy tales and fables of my childhood to reading novels, short stories and non-fiction, some of my happiest moments have been spent lost in the world of words.

These days I tend to mix my reading up a bit in terms of format. I still have many physical books, but I’m also accumulating ebooks and audiobooks. Depending on the book and the narrator, sometimes I will read a book across both formats, enjoying the simple pleasure of reading before sleep, or just for the sheer joy of it, and being able to keep the story going by listening to it whilst I’m doing other things. There are times when an accented narration makes it a bit hard for me to catch some words and I end up returning to the written format (this happened recently with Adrian McKinty’s first Sean Duffy book). It can also happen in reverse. I was finding it difficult to find the rhythm of The Sellout by Paul Beatty, but after listening to a sample of Prentice Onayemi’s narration, it suddenly felt right and I was able to enjoy the book on a level that had been missing beforehand.

Sometimes I switch back to the written word for a sense of speed too: it is possible to listen to audiobooks at a faster pace but that can sound like an old chipmunk record and it doesn’t really help convey the serious tone of the narration. I also enjoy being able to highlight passages in ebook versions, and sometimes make notes as I go which I rarely do with books.

There is always something that I want to read next, but sometimes, especially after a particularly affecting book, I like to read something lighter. Almost like a palate cleanser. This might be a thriller or detective style novel, and series seem to work well for this kind of intervention between more serious, literary novels.

I also like to peruse the online catalogues of the Blue Mountains Library, as there is usually an audiobook or ebook that has been on my peripheral which then becomes available. They are also a good source of classics; books that I might have on my shelves or have been meaning to read, and then a more mobile version is available. A recent find has been experiencing My Place by Sally Morgan as an audiobook which was excellent on many levels. And there is the added incentive of reading it within three weeks, although extensions are possible. Deadlines can be motivating for readers too.

What does your reading life look like?

[Photo:  box of books at preloved book fair]

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