Monday 3 June 2013

Monday - Things you didn't know about me (3)

You probably do know that I like to read. I like to read a lot. I started reading at a preciously young age - although given how loved some of my childhood books were there is some debate to whether it was reading or reciting! To this day I can still recite 'The Nickle Nackle Tree' to my god-children and others who have received it as a must have gift!

Nat's bookshelf: young-childrens

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Having started reading before I started school I had worked my way through most childrens' books before I left primary school... from Beatrix Potter to the Little Grey Rabbit books (who I was convinced lived in the woods behind my grand-parents cottage); the American authors such as Louisa May Allcott, Susan Coolidge and Eleanor H Porter; other books that had belonged to my mother as a girl and classics such as Enid Blyton and Noel Streatfield.

Nat's bookshelf: childrens

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At this point I became fairly indiscriminate about the genre I read, still reading childrens' books if I came across ones I hadn't read, but until I started secondary school and met Young Adult, also reading adult books that were found in our house; such as 'Gone with the Wind', James Bond and my favourite that travelled everywhere with me, 'My Family and Other Animals'.

Most of the Young Adult books in my list I actually read later in life. I did read hundreds of books at secondary school; we had to keep book journals, and I remember hitting a hundred in a year alone... those loose leaf files have long since be thrown away and the books mostly forgotten.

Nat's bookshelf: young-persons

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My love of reading has followed me around ever since my childhood. Wherever I have lived I have joined the local library (indeed when we stayed with my Grandparents as kids we belonged to their library).

Enthusiasm for reading requires being exposed to books from a young age. My parents' house was full of books and there were never any restrictions on what you were allowed to read.

My late-grandfather and I particularly shared a love of reading (my gran gave me all his sci-fi books!) - he was strict that once he started a book he finished it. I try to do this, although sometimes that reading span is measured in years! I've always been one for reading more than one book at once. Before the advent of the Kindle when I had books from the library (or indeed my own books) I'd just leave them all over the house, with one in my bag for out and about. Now I just have about 90 books in the 'queue' on my Kindle... waiting and waiting for me to read them.

I adore science fiction and fantasy books, I'm quite fond of historical novels or novels that span a generation of a family. I don't mind biographies; I went through a depressing phase of those "I survived..." books which I blame entirely on the library and its display by the door. I used to read a lot of 'chic-lit' but once I got to the stage of working out the chap the heroine would end up with by the second chapter they mostly lost their charm. I sometimes read classics, although I'm afraid I mostly find them over-rated; I loved 'Les Miserables' but I hate Bronte and Austen; and I've been stuck somewhere in 'David Copperfield' for about 18 months!

I'll try reading almost anything... and usually I'll eventually finish it. If it's free on Kindle I'll download it and if it is good I may well buy the sequel!

Well, at the moment I'm working my way through Sherlock Holmes... so back to it!