For me there can be nothing more pleasurable than to read a good book. I realise that is not the case for everyone, but I think this may be because they haven’t been directed to good books.
I firmly believe a love of reading has to be engendered from a very early age. Looking at picture books when you are still a baby and then the bedtime story which should be a delightful warm and loving experience that every child should have.
If your parents were keen readers, evidence shows you are also more likely to love a good read. But as you grow up and life becomes more hectic reading for pleasure is often one of the pleasures that goes by the wayside.
The long view
As I am going to be 69 in September I can look back and see that there have been periods in my life when there just was not time to read, young children, careers, family life, cooking, entertaining all took precedence over reading.
But the great thing about reading is that it is a life skill that, if you were introduced to with the love and the excitement of a good story you can always pick up at any time.
Some of the benefits of a good book include:-
A place of calm to go to when all around you is going mad.
You need never be bored or at a loss for what to do.
You will never be lonely.
You learn a lot about human nature, history or whatever topics are of interest to you.
A book is the perfect travelling companion.
Do not be an intellectual snob about your book
Particularly when you are just picking up reading again, be easy on yourself, read easy read books. I loved the children’s Harry Potter books they are exciting and easy to read, but there are lots of funny light and entertaining books to get you going.
Bridget Jones Diary is one, or do you have a particular interest in something, maybe science fiction can grab you. If you have a spiritual leaning a beautiful book is Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. its short and very uplifting.
Thats another thing make your first few books short. Do not go for large volumes, you won’t finish them and then you will feel defeated. So leave the James Joyce Ulysses for when you are really hooked on reading again.
Until recently I never read historical novels for the simple reason you know what is going to happen. But earlier this year I discovered the writer Hilary Mantel, she is an English writer whose books have garnered numerous awards.
I will warn you they are too complicated to be starter books, but when you feel you are ready they are really great reads.
What I have found is that although I thought I knew about a given period, I certainly didn’t know all the ins and outs of actually what happened. Hilary has researched her books thoroughly so they are historically correct, but they are told as stories that draw you in and inform you at the same time.
The two best known of her books are Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, both these books have won numerous prestigious awards and are about Thomas Cromwell an extraordinary man who became King Henry Eight’s right hand man.
In the UK we studied Henry in depth when I was at school, mainly because he had 6 wives, many of whom met bloody ends. But Hilary really brings the period and people alive.
Another of her books is A Place of Great Safety which is about the French Revolution, this is a riveting book which every potential dictator should read. It really shows how people will take so much , but when they turn they become like animals.
But however you do it when the time is right, rediscover the joys of a good book
Christobel is a grandmother who lives in London UK. She is an avid reader and loves her new Kindle book which she was given for Christmas. She finds she can download books instantly and the neat little book fits in her handbag perfectly.