I have always read to do research, or to learn how to do things but to read for the sheer pleasure and enjoyment, well that’s another thing. But I’m giving it a go.
In my post A Journey of Reading I mentioned that as a starter I chose Frederick Forsyth’s The Day of the Jackal to read. My aim was to visit Sydney’s’ bookstores and read a chapter in each store.
In that way I would see more of the city, meet people and enjoy many cups of coffee. With only a dozen or more visits left to do I’ll soon finish that task.
Along the way I was pleasantly sidetracked and attended a course with Mark Tredinnick (celebrated Australian poet, essayist and teacher-and a bloody good one at that.)
As part of the course we discussed weekly readings and I found that talking about stories and writing styles added layers of perspective on the experience. I found I didn’t have to like the writing I just had to accept it for what is was; writing as an art form, as an expression of conversation and as a way of communicating at a deeper level. You speak a thought once but you deliberate, edit and rewrite and then rewrite again the written word.
Another thing that surprised me was reading poetry. It was a new and enjoyable experience. The words sing, they dance off the page and for the first time they make sense. It has rhythm and aesthetics.
Here’s part of the list of the course readings. We didn’t read the books completely because of time constraints however over the six weeks we had plenty of time to review a wide selection of stories and poetry.
Kent Haruf from Plainsong
Ernest Hemingway Indian Camp
James Slater Last Night
John Updike The Disposable Rocket
Herman Melville Moby Dick
Norman Maclean A River Runs Through It
Annie Dillard An American Childhood
Robert Gray A Day at Bellingen
Graham Greene The End of the Affair
I found it helpful to read a bit about the author’s background and the way their books were brought into being. I still read magazines, newspapers, websites, etc. but now I love real reading as well. I might even join a book club.