Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Rediscovering reading

One benefit of my new city commute is the extra half hour or so in every day that I have to read. Half an hour doesn't sound like much, but it's a surprising bounty for me, who has been reading less and less as the years progress.

As a child I was a true bookworm. I would rarely go to bed without reading for at least an hour, and often a lot longer. Frequently I would find myself at 1am, 2am, 3am, glancing at the clock and telling myself not to worry, that somehow I would get through the following day despite having only a few hours' sleep. (And trying to hide this fact from my parents!) Although never a fast reader, I would nevertheless get through books reasonably quickly with this approach.

In recent years, however, work fatigue and the need to have my wits about me have curtailed this habit, and some weeks go by when I don't read at all. I started up a reading group a decade ago but now rarely get through a book a month. This is particularly the case when the tome I'm reading is 'weighty' and demanding of my brain.

And this is why my new train time is such a revelation. I don't read in the mornings, since I travel in with a neighbour, but on the way home the book comes out. Once more, I have become someone who is always to be found with a book in my bag (when I was at Uni this was always the case) and even half an hour a day is enough to maintain my story momentum, so that it's easier to pick up again for another half hour or so before sleep kicks in. (Alas, I still seem to have lost the ability to defy sleep in favour of a book!)

So I think I can look forward to churning though a whole heap more books this year, and correspondingly a whole heap more reviews. Kushiel's Justice, by Jacqueline Carey, is what I'm reading at the moment. But I'll have to move into Born to Run, by Christopher McDougall, soon, as this is our June book for Page Turners.


  1. Reading on the train is great! I have a 20 minute train commute each way, along with the occasional longer trip when I got to our office near Amsterdam, which gives me quite a lot of time to read. So much so, that it is quite easy for me to read at least 1 or 2 books a month these days.

    I seem to recall that I mentioned sometime ago that you would be able to read more if you had a train commute - I must have had a premonition that it would happen, one day ;)