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?