Allyn from Bookgroup is Sharing the Shallows

In only the way that the temporal ground-rush that is Christmas can do, I have missed posting my friend Allyn’s shallows twice! So though belated, I introduce to you another of my fabulous bookgroup members. Allyn is always seen with a well-thumbed, doorstopper of a book in hand, wherever he goes. Even though we don’t see him anywhere near as often as we used to, we still enjoy his occasional attendances and his messages back to the group through his proxies. And I have to say that every library staff member across the world would also attest to the same “saddest task”. It slays us and it is something that no-one ever prepares you for in library school. It slays me even more that Allyn had to do this to romance novels *sob*

A room full of books with the side of Allyn's face in the corner of the photographAllyn

Can you describe yourself?

Forty-something who wants to stay thirty something. Grew up with a mother and a grandmother who were voracious readers.

IT consultant/contractor, currently stay-at-home father of two very energetic children.

What is your main reading medium (books, blogs, games, news, etc) and how much time do you spend reading a week?

A tie between news and blogs, and books. Somewhere between one and two hours a day, so about 10 hours a week, mainly because I fall asleep before I get a chance to read to much at night ..our children like dinner around 5 in the evening, and by the time they are asleep, I can barely manage to brush my teeth, let alone get lost in a book.

hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy coverWhat or who is your joyful reading (guilty or otherwise) pleasure?

Iain M Banks manages to be both joyful and despairing, but I don’t re-read any books very often, with the exception of any of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books. Douglas Adams wrote some of the best descriptive passages and is the one author I cna pick up and re-read and enjoy every word.

Do you have a favourite storyline or plot? And do you have one you will not read?

I love twists, or any time and author successfully shifts perspective and makes everything you’ve read different. If done well, a twist can make a book brilliant.

Why do you/don’t you use a public library?

We use our libraries because one, our house isn’t big enough to contain everything that gets read in our house, and two, wow, would we be broke if we bought them all.  With four library cards in the house, with 10 to 20+ books on each card, it takes about an hour to collect (find!) all the books that are due back.  Yay for online renewals!

Do you RUI*. If so, what?

I am more likely to snark on an internet forum than read after drinking – I prefer to savour words and sentences.

Do you have a favourite reading spot?

Sitting down. Once I am ensconced in a book, I will sit and read wherever I happen to be (with children, reading time is limited anyway).

Toilet reading: 

See my answer to the above question.

Romance fiction of the Happily Ever After (not the love tragedy) kind – are you a Lover or a Hater and why?

I am neither a lover nor a hater. I will read anything, including dictionaries and user guides. When I was working for a department store doing nightfill, many years ago, I would often work in the book area, and unsold ‘romance’ books were stripped of their covers- only the front cover went back to the distributor for credit. I read quite a few that were otherwise heading for pulping. Ripping covers off books is one of the saddest tasks I have ever had – and a very cruel job to give a book lover.

What would you give up reading for**?

There is nothing for which I would give up reading, nor does any preposition deserve to be left to the end.

If by some magic, my giving up reading would cure a disease, or improve the life of someone I loved, then I would give up reading, but without some divine interference, it is through reading that meaning can be found, and without it, my life would be very empty

Can a romance/crime/super/etc hero be the driver of a hatchback?

If a hatchback is synonymous with bland, or boring, or just demonstrates a charachter’s down-on-their-luck status, then it is up to the plot to make it relevant or interesting, or just funny in juxtaposition.

Any character can drive any vehicle, if it is required by the plot, and the author makes it work in context, in their created universe. A bowl of petunias can think “not again” or a bull can drive a truck, so long as it is consistent in-universe.

*Reading Under the Influence

**I like stranded prepositions

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