Life in the Slow Lane: TO READ, OR NOT TO READ.......

Tuesday 25 June 2013


 .....that IS the question...or at least it's something I've been pondering over the last few days. I had a conversation with a couple of friends about it, then I read SUSANNE'S POST I did some more thinking and decided to put my thoughts out there for you all.

I have always been a voracious reader...since I was old enough to read Enid Blyton by myself! I progressed through stories about imps and fairies and circuses (at one point I desperately wanted to run away and join a circus!) to The Secret Seven and The Famous Five and onwards to Mallory Towers and St Claire's. These 'Boarding School' books led me onto 'The Chalet School' series, by Elinor M Brent Dyer.

There then seemed to be a huge leap into 'grown up " books...starting with Catherine Cookson, which took me down the historical route for many years....O'levels introduced me to John Steinbeck (who didn't love 'Of Mice and Men'?), and that was me on the road to American literature.

My genres of choice these days, are Mystery/Thrillers (roots in Enid Blyton?!) and Family Sagas/Romances...with a bit of ChickLit thrown in sometimes. I particularly enjoy series' of books (Enid again?!) and get quite upset when an author decides the series is finished!

Not only have my tastes in reading changed over the years (I couldn't read another Catherine Cookson if you PAID me!..and I can't bear anything earlier than the First World War, historically) but, with the advent of E-readers, HOW I enjoy books has changed.

For READING, it still has to be an actual, made-from-paper book. I have tried reading on my Kindle or Ipad, but it's just not the same; one of the things I dislike about it is the fact that you can't flick back and forth (when you forget who someone is..or whose brother or sister they are!). I also confess to being one of those people who likes to read the last page, especially in romantic fiction...I just HAVE to know if there's a happy ending. And then sometimes I have to do a bit more checking if the ending isn't as I thought, or can't work out how it came's difficult to do that with an E-reader!

The book I finished in bed last night...definately had to read the end of this one!

I do however use my Kindle and Ipad to LISTEN to books...but have discovered for the afore-mentioned reasons, that I can only listen to Mystery books or thrillers...for some reason I don't have the same need to know how the story ends...weird or what? 

The one I finished this afternoon on my Ipad...I have the latest one in the series downloaded ready for listening to next!

It used to be that I could never have two books on the go at once, but now I can easily listen to something whilst lying in the sun or ironing and when I go to bed at night read something entirely different.

Do you enjoy reading?....Has the way you enjoy books changed?...hope you find some time for a little reading this week!

Thanks for dropping by! 
Take care of you
Alison xx



  1. For the self help/inspirational/how to/non-fiction genres, I can read multiple books at once in any format, in bits and pieces. But when it comes to good fiction I prefer paper. And I'm the type of reader that so totally immerses myself in the story that my own life ceases to exist until the book is finished. My family doesn't appreciate this as they seem to expect clean clothes and dinner on the table whether I am reading or not. So fiction is pretty limited to "alone" time or vacations.

  2. oh yes I love to read - always have. since I got a kindle 3 years ago it has become my preferred method - I like that it is light and always fits in my handbag and the minute I finish one I can start another - wherever I am. I'm reading a paper book at the moment and find myself pressing the edge when I come to the end of a page!!!! I mostly read detectives (especially the Scottish ones) and sci fi and fantasy (mostly the women authors)

  3. Great post today. I have lots of random thoughts on the subject of reading. I find that I don't read very much at all. I am in a book group to push myself to read at least one book a month. This month I picked up an actual paper book, hoping it would hold my attention more than a book on my ipad. And I think it has. It's also a really good, driving story. I read a lot on planes when I travel. One big difference I've noticed in my reading habits is that I'm no longer compelled to finish every book I start. Nowadays if I lose interest, I stop reading. I also tend to read more during the summer. The biggest competition for reading time is computer/blogging/blog reading time. Sorry that my thoughts are so jumbled, but you unleashed a torrent! LOL!

  4. I loved the same books as you as a child and have done Catherine Cookson, I find them a bit depressing now. I have a kindle but still enjoy a real book. I would give up the television rather than a book and for me it has to be a thriller or crime one rather than a romance.

  5. I love to read and I started exactly the same as you did with Enid Blyton! I only read paper though because I often have to have a flick back too :) x

  6. I love reading and was constantly with my head in a book growing up! I don't remember what I started with (although I do have a picture of me reading a comic on the toilet...I'd be about 3/4) but do remember reading Topsy and Tim and good old Enid Blyton.
    While I have started to read a lot of my magazines on my reader and have the odd book on my iphone, I am still very much a paper reader. I love the feel of a book in my hands as opposed to holding a piece of machinery but I do see its benefits in terms of getting hold of books that are hard to find (I read a lot of have to go to a big city bookshop or amazon to get a half decent selection of those lol).

  7. I have always loved to read but find I am reading a good deal more with my Kindle. It's just so convenient to carry around and to download books. I love historical fiction and espionage.

  8. I'm 99% e-reader these days, but I understand what you mean about being able back up a page or two in order to re-read something, check a relationship, etc. When I read paper books, I had a nearly infallible sense that the tidbit I was looking for was on an upper right page or directly under an illustration or WHATEVER. E-books don't provide the same sort of tactile sense of place. That said, I doubt I will go back to paper reads--having an entire library at my fingertips is way too appealing. I'm still working on searching and bookmarks to keep track of important spots in my e-book reads.

  9. Yes, I'm a voracious reader too and always have been. Your description of starting off on the Enid Blytons fits me perfectly. I always fancied Boarding I still read every night, but always a real book. I can't get my head round using a Kindle at all. I borrowed one to try it out and didn't like it at all. Mind you, a few more years of failing eyesight and I might be changing my tune..

  10. I recently posted about this very self-same dilemma.
    I love real books, the smell and feel of them. However, I have been downloading books on to my iPad Mini, ready for 2 weeks in Florida. I can't ever see me being an eReader 100% of the time at all.

  11. I really love reading. I love old childrens literature like the railway children, wind in the willows, anne of green gables. I also like romances and adventures. I don't think I could read on an e-reader. I like the feel of a book in my hands. I do love audio books and always play them when I am sewing or scrapping.

  12. I've always been a reader and I typically have several books going at once, but I'm careful that they are different genres so I don't get confused! LOL Right now I'm in the middle of two paperbacks, one hardback, and two on the Kindle!

  13. I love reading and always have at least one book on the go but found when we traveled that taking books along was just too heavy and cumbersome so I got a kindle. Now the only real books I read are reference ones. John has taken over my kindle and I'm using the kindle app on my iPad so it really helps when we're traveling plus now we don't need to figure out where we're going to store more books.

  14. I used to read lots too - and Enid Blyton too - Mallory Towers and all that! I love reading on my Ipad actually as it's so easy to pick up and you can have a whole collection with you at once.Hope you're well xxxx

  15. This post is sooo close to my heart! I just love reading. I too started with all the same Enid Blyton books as you. I then progressed to Anya Seton books - loved her historical novels and then moved onto very similar genres to you. My favourite now are crime novels with a little bit of historical fiction thrown in - I like Philippa Gregory. I quite often have two books on the go - one by my bed and one for downstairs. If I'm doing that then they are normally two different genres - couldn't cope with two crime novels at one go - I'd get confused! I am also listening to books in my car as I commute to and from work. I am listening to Harry Potter at the moment as we have all the books on CD from when the children were younger and I am actually really enjoying them. I love 'real' books although I do also read books on my ipad too. Funnily enough I bought 3 books (all crime) last night at Tesco for a fiver! Saving those for my holiday :)

  16. You know that I agree that it's so much fun to enjoy story after story, no matter the form in which you partake of them.

  17. I LOVE to read and definitely prefer the feel of a real book. But I do also now read on my iPhone via the Kindle app as I can do that on the sly so no-one knows and when I am waiting for stuff (ie it is very portable!).

    I have listened to a few audio books and I don't mind them for the car but they take sooooo long to get to the end. But however you read, I just think that it is important to enjoy the journey.

  18. I'm finding I'm lacking the blocks of time to sit and really get engrossed in a book. I like series for similar reasons but find audio books I tune out. Not so bad with podcasts or the radio but for books I realise I've missed important bits of the plot!

    Blogs and magazines have taken up some time - I don't mind if they are interrupted :)


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