Books

Learning to love [books] again

There are people out there who are 100% the definition of a book worm. They read 8 books a month, know the names of all the authors in WHSmith’s top 10 and have a library-like book shelf at home. I on the other hand, never have been and I don’t think I ever will be a fully committed book worm, no matter how hard I try.

However, I did love reading as a teenager.

I would read classics on my commute to internships (it’s where I fell in love with Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles),  I wrote my A-Level essay assignment on The Catcher In The Rye (I thought Holden Caulfield was pretty cool… I do not think he’s cool now) and Jo March became one of my feminist heroes before I knew what a feminist was.

Then I studied English at university.

Don’t get me wrong I loved my university degree (joint with Film Studies). I still feel I owe my lecturers for helping me not only read deeper into texts, but for opening my eyes to the world. But when given 30-40 books to read in an academic year, you quite quickly fall out of love with reading. It was homework and no one likes doing homework.

I graduated over two years ago and, I hate to say it, but I’ve probably read just 10 books since then. Horrifying.

My taste in books has changed and by that I mean I seem to only read ‘easier’ texts. Which is no way a criticism of the books I’ve read recently, I wouldn’t read them if I didn’t like them*. I haven’t read a ‘classic’ since university and I haven’t read anything that has made me question life in a long time.

I’m changing this. I spend far too long on my phone in the evenings and on the weekend it is worse. I want to learn more and the best way to do that is to read. I don’t need to read a postmodern text or a Victorian novel all the time, just occasionally find something more than the ordinary.

I’ve got a few things on my to-read list and it’s my aim to do a quarterly, maybe even monthly (though I won’t push it), blog on what I’ve read. I’m thinking if I state this on the web now, then I can’t go back and I have to commit.

J.K. Rowling said “if you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book” but I know I can love to read, I just need to find the right books to fall in love again.

Recent reads I’ve enjoyed:

  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (Gail Honeyman)
  • The Note (Zoë Folbigg)
  • See What I Have Done (Sarah Schmidt)
  • Miss You (Kate Eberlen)
  • Wonder (R J Palacio)

 

* a very intelligent woman in my work book group once said ‘life is too short to read books you don’t like’ and I have lived by that ever since.

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2 Comments

  • Claire Allen

    I’m glad you are enjoying reading again Nadine. I thought I’d never pick up a book again once I finished my PhD! I still don’t read as much as I should. I’m loving Ali Smith at the moment, especially ‘There But for the’.
    Thanks for the blog, a great read x

    • Nadine Shambrook

      Thanks for your comment Claire and for your recommendation. I’ll look this up! Definitely want to explore more books and genres that I wouldn’t usually read. Feel I took more risks with different books while I was a student and have made myself too comfortable with my book choices. Thank you 🙂

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