During high school, I decided I didn’t like reading fiction novels. To be more precise, I didn’t like finishing fiction novels. There were no more pages after the last page. There was no pay-off for the emotional investment. Just a gapping hole.
Perhaps that’s why readers are avid.
On to the next!
It’s probably why publishers love a book that will become a series or an author who can crank them out relentlessly. We humans tend to gravitate to the familiar, to recapture, to refill.
I am not a reader.
Starting uni, I worried I wouldn’t survive all that reading. I didn’t bother with History, my favourite subject at high school. The reading lists for a history degree were twice the size of other courses.
Coloured pencils navigated my way through the dense texts and kept me awake. Red to underline the main point of the paragraph. Blue to circle all the joiners and turnabouts – the ands, howevers, buts, yet and insteads. Purple to number or dot point the lists spread across pages or hidden in paragraphs.
(The downside was the need to photocopy or buy my own books. But it was worth it. The structure and content jumped from the page and a well written piece danced before my eyes. Referring back to a passage was so much easier.)
It was an essential system for a non-reader.
So, why has this non-reader finished two books – including a work of fiction – in just two weeks? To be honest, it helped that the second was only 118 pages, and I woke up at 2am one night deciding to finish it.
Ben Aaronvitch’s The Furthest Station.
Quote of the week: “One improvisation amongst the millions and millions of melodies that create the symphony of everything.” (p61)
The colouring craze once dominated my last light each night, but the light here is wrong. Instead, reading has become my final view of the world before lights out.
Dinosaurs next. I wonder if they could sing?