I Feel The Need… The Need to Read!

Top Gun, what a classic. Fighter pilots, men in uniform, men out of uniform, aviator sunnies with cheeky handles like “Iceman”, “Viper”, “Goose” and “Maverick”. It also gifted us some great lines, one of which I have borrowed and contorted for my own nefarious blog purposes.  So whilst the remaining MiGs bug out, here’s a fantastic compilation video of Top Gun scenes with the song that has been playing in my head ever since I thought of the heading for this post.

I’m not going to be shooting down any enemy planes today, but I do feel invigorated. Why? Because today I refound my passion for reading books. This folks, is a big deal, huge, phenominal even!

To put this in context, a couple of years ago I used to be a voracious book reader, running at two to three a week. Mostly veg books, to use the expression of my fellow blogger, Eagle Eyed Editor. After a long day reading copious quantities of heavy and dry business material, I craved the escapist world of veg books, no thinking required, just pure emotion and verbage.  All my books were paper books and I loved thumbing the pages, loved looking at the well used spines lined up like sentinels on my book shelf and loved rereading my favourites when the mood struck.

And then I stopped. Cold. I flirted briefly with reading some non-fiction books, but I never became so deeply immersed as when my imagination was ignited by fiction. The only real explanation I can think of why is that slowly or possibly not so slowly my reading habits changed from paper to online. Suddenly my reading became centered around blogs of all kinds, personal blogs of my WordPress friends, blogs about management and leadership, blogs about marketing and social media, newspaper and journalistic blogs, blogs about writing, and blogs about blogs!

image from microsoft clipart

Most of the material was and is engaging and it is material that as an Australian I would never have had access to before the online age. Suddenly there was a whole new world to explore and learn from. And it was all free and accessible whenever I needed. But I think it came at a price.

Blog pieces, or at least the best blog pieces, are less than a thousand words long and possibly even shorter than that. They are short sound bytes designed to tantalize and entertain and much territory could be covered in the space of an hour online. Get to the point and prove your expertise quickly or find yourself in the middle of a cavernous snoozefest. During my blog hopping phase I did pick up a book or three in the hope that I would once again find my reading passion and the buzz of immersion. Maybe they were the wrong books or maybe it was the environment, but more often than not I found myself stopping after five pages. That was until I read a couple of recent books, including the book I discussed in my last blog post

Today, my journey back to the book world reached a pivotal point, for today I wondered into my favorite bookshop. It is in fact the last of the giant bookstores in my city, three levels of tomes, stacked on pallets, stacked on shelves, well…just stacked! Today there was a promotion for a classical music CD taking place when I walked in and the sounds of a soulful cello played. The musician was in store with his cello and there was a buzz. Customers and store clerks milled about and there was some serious browsing taking place in the aisles.

Gratuitous aviator sunnies pic

I felt like it was almost a spiritual experience with a real sense of it feeling right. I savoured reading the book jackets and combing the shelves for an hour and I am happy to say came away with three books to read. It is time to be immersed, to be transported. It is time to read the marathon after a long time spent sprinting.  I am revelling in this sense of anticipation and looking forward to getting reacquainted with turning pages, sneakily reading ahead and shutting the book cover when the last full stop has been read.

It is time to feed the need, the need to read!

Did you find the internet impacting your reading habits? Do you love to read? Do you sneakily read ahead?

About the curtain raiserhttp://raisingthecurtain.netI have spent my life in offices. For now I am putting that behind me and preparing for the second act. Middle age didn't come with acceptable signposts so I am making my own through my writing. A journey shared is more fun than going it solo.

23 thoughts on “I Feel The Need… The Need to Read!

  1. Oh, I do love to read. Years ago, I dated someone who hassled me every time I read. Yes I was young, stupid and in love. I dumped him and picked up books again and haven’t turned back. I’d start back with some fun chick lit — Kate Morton. And I just finished one of the best books ever: The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown. Wonderful.

    But I never cheat. Or hardly ever 😉

    Welcome back!

    • I have to say I’m finding it hard to balance blogging with my temporary return to corprorate Australia. It’s doing crazy things to my creativity…. or is that hormones…? Thanks for the reading reccom, will check it out.

      • It’s probably that female tendency to try to do everything as well. Just because you have 75% less time, well that’s just tough. The weirdest thing is you will find your rhythm and manage to do everything just as well as you used to AND will do a bang up job.

  2. Thanks for mentioning me, RTC! It’s a funny thing..now that I’ve become a blogger, I’m reading more and more blogs due to the exceptional quality of the writing. And WordPress makes it so easy to find other bloggers.

    I think we have the best of all worlds — books, eBooks and blogs, too!

  3. Although I read a lot of blogs, I don’t think it’s taken away from my fiction reading, because I never really had much time to sit down and read, anyway. I try to read fiction on my lunch break and then again after dinner for a while. It’s my ‘down’ time, and I love it. I’m glad you got your book reading mojo back. 🙂

  4. I used to be such an avid reader, then several years ago, longer than I want to admit, I stopped. I read articles, and read some books, but I haven’t been able to get back into reading. I have about four books I am in the middle of and have been this way for years. Thanks for the proverbial cyber kick in the rear, I hope I can be like you and find my passion for reading again. Great post, thanks Curtain! DAF

  5. Perhaps fortunately my internet access is restricted by lack of electricity so I still read cheap secondhand books from my local opportunity shop, but my recent acquisition of an e-book reader means that I now read fewer ‘real’ books.

      • I just got a cheap $30 one from Dick Smith….it has 100 pre-loaded books but you need to find a source of free ebooks to load into it from a computer…..no wifi facility. It suits my purposes perfectly.

  6. My reading HAS been restricted since I joined the blogging community. It doesn’t seem fair to lain because I LOVE it here, but commenting and being true to my fellow bloggers DOES take up a LOT of time. Hopefully more people will blog only ONCE a day and more will post below 1000-word lengths. Of course, even I cannot put ALL the blame on blogging, the rest of life contributes heavily too. I miss reading…more.

    • I agree with you on the time component of being a truly social blogger. I apologise for not being able to do it more. There are some who are amazing at it and I am sure I miss some great commenting opportunities.

  7. There are not enough hours in the day to read all I want to and, yes, since we’ve started Grown and Flown, the amount of time we’ve spent reading blogs has soared.

  8. I love the sign at the end of your post. Well done. And, paraphrasing a line from “Top Gun” …..”I feel the need….the need to READ!” If you want a quick read, where it is more than a “veg read” pick up one of Malcom Gladwell’s books – “The Tipping Point” is a great one to start with. Take care and enjoy your spring and summer down under and maybe read in the shade with a margarita. Best regards, BTG

    • Thanks BTG for the feedback and the reccom. I’m back in the work force for now so reading will need to be squeezed in around family and work commitments, but definitely, sun, shade, margarita… not to mention hammock :)!

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