Thursday, 20 January 2011

Reading for pleasure

A fellow blogger has been thinking about whether to persevere with reading books that she can't really get into, but feels that she needs a wider variety of reading to be a good writer.

I know what she means. 
There seems to be lots of books that I have thought I should read. Where this "should" has come from, I'm not sure. Probably recommendations from educationalists or literary reviewers and such like. Sometimes a friend or colleague has suggested I read a particular book and I have persevered even when the process has turned into a total chore.  1000 Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez, is an example. It has been on my bedside table for 6 years now and I have not managed to get past the first chapter. I ought to move it really as it does taunt me that it's a "classic" that I am unable to complete. 

But this is not a good way of choosing reading material. 
I know people who say they "don't like reading".  I can't understand that statement but I can understand not liking what you read and that is where Marquez and such fall short, for me. 

I am not at my best in the perseverance stakes with anything much at the moment but if I make reading a task then there's no hope at all. 


Fiona Faith Maddock said...

I don't believe a person should struggle through books which do nothing for them. Life is too short. However, there is no accounting for taste. The world population can be divided into those who have read Lord of the Rings and those who haven't (that's not original to me a witty journalist came up with it but it's so true), readers who were captivated by The Life of Pi (me being one of them) and others who couldn't bear it. I'm about to start 'Cien anos de soledad' - I'll let you know how I get on.

CarolB said...

Thank you for the mention.
I think we will always have writers who we won't get on with no matter how long, so after six years I think you can safely pass them on without guilt.

Lexia said...

Thanks for the comments.
It just goes to show how much of a chore it was for me to read Marquez - I have written 1000 years instead of 100 ! Well, it seemed like 1000 years ...

Fiona - Life of Pi is a good one for me too. I am also one of the non readers of Lord of the Rings.
Good luck with "soledad". Are you reading it in Spanish ?