The Novel Idea
More of a renewal for me
I found an old poem that I had written, and it reminded me of the pleasure I used to get from reading novels. I say ‘used to get’ because nowadays my reading of novels is laboriously slow, if it happens at all. I tried using Audible as I thought that might help, but it didn’t really. I thought I might like to listen whilst doing other things, like the housework. Instead, I just found that to be a distraction, and I really want to listen to music in those circumstances.
It is a situation I wish to rectify because I used to read A LOT and, on some occasions, I would read the whole book in the same day. So, what happened? Novels haven’t gone anywhere. For me, I think a few different things happened. I started reading more non-fiction, and Bristol Libraries, Libraries West, Books for Amnesty, Ebay, Abe Books, World Books and Amazon have all helped with that.
Another thing I found was that I was reading more and more articles, stories, news items and social media posts on the internet, jumping rapidly from one thing to another. Gradually, I was developing the concentration of a hen or a goldfish, which is not really conducive for reading novels. And my mentality was veering sharply towards the next thing, the next thing and the next thing.
Add-on to that the streaming of videos and music, and the easy availability of cheaper and better choices when it came to do that. If you then include tablets and smart phones, it was a perfect storm that was brewing for me.
And so, I get to this point, where I am determined to change the balance. Less TV, social media, Youtube and disappearing down rabbit holes on the net. I still want to read nonfiction because I like doing that, but better qualitative choices, and a bit more rationing might be key. Principally, I need to make more time for novels. So, I will fill gaps between other things with a quick bit of novel reading. And I plan to go to bed with a book more often, something I used to love doing.
In the meantime, I will leave you with the old poem, whilst I read a chapter of Shuggie Bain before making my dinner.
A New Leaf
I turn the page, and there you are, somehow new to me. I love your words, your grace, your poise, your absence of chaos and your gentle enticing, away from the pain and weary breakdown of the closing of the day. The light fades and you slip from my desperate grip, reminding me of balance, when all I want is a resting place where nothing is what it seems, and all our thoughts are dreams
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