Reading has always been part of my life. I’m sure I couldn’t live without the ability to read. But why read?
I’ve mentioned before that I was reading Csikszentmihalyi’s ‘Flow’, in which he describes flow as ‘joy, creativity, the process of total involvement with life’. For me, reading helps me achieve this state of joy. I’m sure most of you have been so absorbed in a book that it excludes everything else. Throughout my life, I have always had a book to hand. I have several in various states of completeness, usual having one fiction and one fact book as my primary books. I’d finish books very quickly, skimming to get to the end quickly. However, I now realise I wasn’t reading.
Let me digress. In my teens, I read avidly science fiction but this was mainly as an act of escapism. Medical school taught me to skim and get the most facts as quickly as possible. After that, I was too tired and would fall asleep. Again I returned to books as a way to escape. Until recently, I had stopped reading and was reading only one book a year. Facebook etc. had taken over as I ‘vegged’.
As part of mindfulness, I vowed to read 12 books this year. One each month. So what have I read so far?
- Intercept: the secret history of computers & spies by G Corea
- Rebecca by Daphne du Marier
- Deathnote 1&2 by Tsugumi Ohba, illustrated by Takeshi Obata
- John Clare Poems selected by Paul Farley
- The Go-between by L P Hartley
- The Alchemist by P Coelho
It’s a bit eclectic but it is meant to be. I’ve tried to find books I wouldn’t naturally select, apart from the first one. What will be this month’s book? Any suggestions?