I wanted to write a piece about books. I penned something yesterday and when I came to read it back just now it was not really that great. My writing has let me down just as I want to write about, well, the written word. Ironically.
And so I am going to try again. Deep breath.
I suppose it is true that it is impossible to be a writer, even one as amateurish as me, without having a love for reading.
In today’s world many, many things get in the way of book reading. The TV with its myriad delights, the internet, social media, work, too many children doing too many things, blogging and the like.
It is also true that the reading many of us do has changed. From lengthy novels to snappy titbits on social media pages, magazine articles, blog entries. The modern world is displayed to us in short, easy to digest slices.
I am currently reading a Hilary Mantel. Not the Tudor ones- which I read in hard back as soon as they came to my attention because that part of history is one of my secret passions, my shelves groan with such tomes- no a piece of contemporary fiction. I am enjoying it. But I only seem to find time to read in bed before dropping off to sleep and so I spend an in-ordinate amount of that short period of time flicking back through the pages to remember what has just happened.
Some novels are like that. They need concerted effort. And the only time I seem to have available for such effort is on holiday. Well that is not totally true. I could turn off the TV. Stop writing. Give up Face book. But I don’t.
It wasn’t always like this. As a child I would curl up on my bed and read for hours at a time. Especially in the school holidays when kids’ TV finished at 12 noon and there was no such thing as the internet.
Middlest has the bug too. Despite all those distractions he spends a lot of time reading. He is a complete book worm. When we can’t find him he is usually on his bed in a position very familiar to me. And I am envious of the time he has to be so engrossed in his books. When I go to his room to bring him down for dinner he looks up almost dazed as he drags himself back from Middle Earth or Sendaria or Hogwarts.
My others read too. But much more in the vein of ‘just before bed’. Middlest reads with a single minded dedication and tenacity that I admire. He gets fully immersed. It is something I remember fondly.
And the thing is it shows in his writing, which is amazingly eloquent for a ten year old, and his verbal language, and his vocabulary.
And so I think I need to rediscover my reading mojo.
For then this piece may have flowed more easily.