Like millions of other people I love to sink into a good book. I haven’t always loved it; in fact I obstinately refused to learn to read until I was six. My mum would despair at me, my teachers would try bribing me but frankly, I just couldn’t be bothered to learn what all the little letters joined together sounded like aloud.
I was more interested in creating my own version based on the pictures. Then one day I just picked it up and never stopped. I’d slink away up to my room and devour book upon book. I didn’t read for escapism. I read to understand the world around me; I also read to hear how things that I had never seen before were described and then I would then attempt to draw them. I was obsessed with descriptions. The real type of description such a Milton uses where every word adds further depth to his vast picture of poetry.
I never read anything written before 1930. I refused to. I found it all too grey.
Then I went to University and my reading habits changed entirely, quite suddenly modernism meant the whole world to me and I craved that grey, honest writing. I stopped caring for description and focussed on dialogue, I started reading drama rather than novels and instead of painting poetry I looked for people to do it for me - you can always match up a Picasso to one poem or other. I fell into philosophy and art and somewhere along the line forgot about novels. In an odd kind of way reading English had the opposite effect to that which I thought it would, instead of opening me up to masses of new text it made me extremely picky about what I liked and to an extent made me hate novels.
Recently I’ve been craving books again, I’m trying to read wider than I have in the past and I’ve realised there are literally hundreds of classics I’ve still not read. Not to mention the hundreds I have at home that I’ve still not read.
All this is a really long winded way of saying that I went on a huge book buying splurge recently and now have a dozen new ones to get excited about. I just want to read them all. Right. Now.
(The Gunter Grass one isn't strictly speaking new but I had lost it and have only just found it again)