On reading

I love that it is possible to put Goodreads as a widget in the sidebar of this blog (the top column is the books I am currently reading, the bottom one is the books I have most recently read). I am one of those people that reads multiple books at the same time. It is like the great Rory Gilmore said:

…sometimes if I’m on the bus and I pull out a biography and I think to myself, ‘Well, I don’t really feel like reading about a person’s life right now’ then I’ll switch to the novel, and then sometimes if I’m not into the novel, I’ll switch back

I used to be a bonafide bookworm when I was younger. We had this book bus that would come every week on Thursday evening and I borrowed about five to six books every week. I do not remember most of the plots, but I do remember one particular adaptation of King Arthur’s legend that somehow ended up merging into the plot of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth (I think Mordred was morphed into Morgoth and described as the founder of Mordor). I have not been able to find the book in question ever since, but I swear it is somewhere out there.

From when I was fourteen I started switching Dutch-language books for English-language ones and became immersed in a series of classic novels, so much so that when the infamous not-BBC endorsed “The BBC Book List Challenge” came out, I read some thirty of them. Furthermore, I own approximately half of those books. These days I have found myself switching to non-fiction to improve my world view. The problem with that is, however, that I am processing the information I acquire from those books whilst I am reading and that can sometimes be exhaustive when having to read loads of academic articles and judgments at the same time. Consequently, I do not read as much as I used to and I also do not read as often as I used to.

For a while I tried tackling this problem by reading for pleasure before going to bed. I read War and Peace, The Revenge of Geography (by the way, Kaplan thinks Greece is the pivot on which European influence rests and that if Europe wants to remain ‘influential’ it should try to retain it within the European sphere of influence at all costs), Day of Empire and parts of the A Song of Ice and Fire series. What happened was that every time I started reading a book for leisure I would become tired, since my brain was primed to associate leisure book = sleepy time. I have been trying to read more during the day ever since, but life can be quite hectic and Netflix is tempting: I am currently in the second season of Breaking Bad.

So, in order to provide myself with some extra motivation to read more, I will from time to time be posting reading reviews, reading insights and my favourite books with you on this blog! If you have any recommendations for great books, feel free to share those with me.

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