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What are you reading?

How are you my book fan friends? Are you finding the time to read or do you have readers block? I know lots of you are enjoying the extra time to loose your self in the pages of a novel in which case what are you reading?

During the first lockdown in Spring 2020 readers were definitely seeking out fiction about pandemics with the top seller being Plague by Albert Camus but, although compelling, as time went on reading a book about another outbreak that afflicted humanity soon became the last book on earth to crack open.

After the American police-brutality in early June books about anti-racism took off including a re-release of Why I am No Longer Talking To White People About Race hitting the best-seller lists along with biographies such as My Name is Why and A Search For Belonging by Michael Fuller.

Close to a year later we find ourselves in lockdown once again so what are we reading now? The obvious influential factor is the current state of of the American Presidency and the chaos rallied by Donald Trump. Books about espionage, civilian investigation and holding governments to account are certainly bound to climb the best seller lists.

Personally, whilst I am certainly delving through a pile of new releases, I find I am drawn to old friends such as Milan Kundera and Jack Kerouac. These are authors I read in my teens and find comfort in as an adult. Whilst recently sorting through the homestead bookshelves at home I also found myself drawn to children's fiction. Favourites including The Secret Garden, Anne of Green Gables and Finn Family Moomintroll have all found pride of place on my bedside table. I feel the re-reading of Children's Fiction as an adult deserves special attention and a blog all of its own - more to come!

I spent this morning adding (and will continue to add) a list of new releases to our online bookshop for you to peruse and of course you can continue to email me for any recommendations.

If you are one of the many with readers block, your eyes glaze over and you cannot get past the first page or even the first paragraph - do not panic, I too have felt the weighty rebuke of newly purchased books as I pass the bookshelves not daring to look in their direction for fear they will jump from the shelf into my hands screaming read me!

My tips to get you back to reading

Start Easy - we don't suggest you start with the back of the toothpaste packet but be kind to yourself. Start with something short and easy to digest.

Short Stories - try a collection of short stories by either one author or a selection of authors. My personal favourites in the genre would be Zadie Smith or Stefan Zweig or Herge's Adventures of Tin Tin.

A New Genre? - It might help to change up your routine and read something outside your comfort zone. Switching it up from historical fiction to humour or Sci Fi to Fantasymight be the key that unlocks the block.

Go straight to 69 - English Professor and author of How to Read A Novel John Sutherland suggests "Once you have read page 69 you will have an idea of whether the book is up your street." Not sure why he chose Page 69?

No obligations - Never feel obligated to finish a book you are not enjoying. Reading is a joy not a chore.

No Netflix - it has been suggested that books can fail to capture interest in comparison to the quick entertainment fix offered by streaming platforms like Netflix - I call BS on this one. If you are struggling to read and getting mesmerised by two Seasons of Succession works for you then enjoy my friend. Your joy of reading will return.

With very best wishes and socially distanced hugs to you all, stay safe and don't forget to find that one thing today that makes you smile.


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