Digressions… (to and from Reading)

I’ve been meaning to write about what I’m currently reading for quite some time – it is one of the reasons I liked the idea of setting up this blog – but mostly my posts have been about figure painting. [Nothing much happening there… I’ve got one nearly finished figure that has been that way for the last 2 weeks!]

Once I’d decided to write (back in October), it occurred to me that I would digress from what I was reading, so I’m starting with most of the digressions and the reading post with be for the future. I’ve already read another 7 books since then, and likely will finish the current book before I post! [Edit: Yes – finished it last night.]

I’d finished a long book series and come into possession of a book of short stories by my all-time favourite author – Anne McCaffrey. “Get Off the Unicorn” (1977). [I’ve read a few of the stories in here before from other sources, but never the whole book] I was still in the mood for reading series and had a theme of sorts that I’m continuing. [Books I own, that grabbed my attention right from the beginning, that I hadn’t read for a long time, favourite authors.] In particular, Anne states of some of the stories that they were early ideas she hoped to turn into novels. 37 years later, I know that she realised her hope – I’ve got those complete novels on my shelf. This started me into a series of hers based on two of the short stories (Tower & Hive, 1990-1999) that also related in theme to the series I’d finished by Julian May. [Intervention, Galactic Milieu, Saga of the Exiles. 1978-1992]

I read a lot. I’m a fast reader (I read quickly, which is not the same as “speed reading”). I read almost every day.

One of my most inspiring days as a very young person was when I realised that libraries had fiction books!

Normally, I start reading while I have breakfast; I read at lunch-time, and during morning and afternoon breaks at work. (I used to read on the bus/train when I caught Public Transport – and I missed my stop many times.) This year I’ve often made a drink and sat out with the chickens and read to relax for 30min or so after work. I like to sit in bed and read for a while before I sleep. I used to get in trouble for reading in class in High School… early English Classes were terrible when we were reading parts of a book because EVERYONE else was sooooooo slooooooooow.

How many books have I got?

Last estimate was about 600 novels. [I checked – I’ve got an old Excel spreadsheet list, but it needs updating. I’m not going to count my other books!]

Who are my favourite authors?

Top of the list is Anne McCaffrey. (Since I picked up “The Ship who sang” in my High School library in the early 1980’s.)

I also really like: Marion Z Bradley, Steven Brust, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, Raymond E Fiest, Barbara Hambly, Patricia McKillip, Terry Pratchett and J.R.R. Tolkien. (Alphabetical by surname, not in order of preference.)

Mostly I read Fantasy and Science Fantasy/Fiction, although I enjoy adventure and mystery novels as well. I’ll read nearly anything if it sounds worthwhile, or on a subject/theme/person that I’m interested in. My interest in Dragons may relate to the Pern/Dragon-rider novels (Anne McCaffrey), since in Primary School I was more interested in Dinosaurs.

Aside: “Dragons of Lancasm” is the name of my World of Warcraft guild, on the Uther server. (I say my guild because the only characters in it that aren’t mine are my wife’s. I got the charter signed using my main Character and nine 10-day guest passes.)

I think that covers my assortment of thoughts and now I can get onto what I’ve been reading…

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