I used to be fantastic, I'd pick up a book and read it to the end, ignoring all else. If it was good, I could block out the world and wallow in someone else's fantasy. I remember going through my brother's collections of Steinbeck, Thomas Hardy and other classics. I had an addiction for a while to John Grisham and Ken Follet and dare I say it, whilst I understand it's fabrication and far from great literature, I am I think, the only person on the planet that actually enjoyed The DaVinci Code! (maybe it was the pictures, my sister bought me a lovely illustrated hard back as a gift for Christmas at my request). And I really enjoyed my most recent foray, The Kite Runner . . .
ClareBear reads anything and everything. Drummerboy on the other hand is more prone to browsing the dust jacket. How he managed a good score in English during the HSC still amazes me since his stable of literature involved largely Motocross Magazines with photos of semi-naked girls draped uncomfortably yet strangely provocatively over motor bikes. He was good at reading instructions and had a penchant for model aeroplanes from the age of six and is by far the only person in my household that bothers to read instructions on new equipment assembly and operation - but a novel? Never.
I'm not sure if it was my liking for videos and DVD's or the fact that so many of them were representations of some long lost novel done less than well. Then I immersed myself in the idiot box and got into the TV groove, soul destroying stuff. I've had three books sitting on my bedside table for months, all in varying states of unreadness. Memory Keeper's Daughter, The Iron Horseman and one I've almost finished but hardly counts as great literature but is an interesting bio Mao's Last Dancer. I thought about the online club that English Mum has started but couldn't find their July Book in Australia in time for their critique.
In all seriousness, I'm a 'holiday' reader. I'm happy bobbing on a lilo in the pool immersing myself in all sorts of literati or slushy crap. Or languishing under a beach umbrella at Hawks Nest reading something borrowed. However, I find that now, particularly in the evenings, I have much time on my hands and reading needs to be resuscitated. I've decided that television is largely rubbish with the exception of maybe half a dozen shows a week worth my attention. Blogging only takes an hour or so out of my day and my new exercise regime, just half an hour in the morning and an hour at night (Hey, my fitness level is pathetic so I'm working on it).
So when Thommo mentioned that there was an opening in her 'book' club, I put aside my Desperate Housewives, judgemental bias - my fear of highbrow literary posturing and decided that yes, I'd like to join. Mainly because it meant that someone else could choose the book for me and that for the 2nd Thursday of the month, I would actually have to front to some stranger's house and give them my opinion on the manuscript, however uneducated. So, I've taken the plunge, bought the book for October (the next meeting is on the 11th September and that's a bit of a rush to cover a whole novel so I've opted for the 2nd Thursday in October meeting at "Karen's" place (no idea who she is!).
I don't know if I'll stick with it but it's a chance to meet new people and tell them what I think - God knows I love doing that! And to possibly rediscover the magic of reading.
So excuse me now, I have to open Rose Tremaine's "The Road Home". (I wonder if one can read on a treadmill?)
But you know how it is, first rule of book club . . you do not talk about what goes on at book club . .second rule of book club . . you do not talk about what goes on at book club. One book at a time and if this is your first day at book club . .you have to read!