Planning to not plan (too much)

This is a blog I mean to write early last week but, as with all plans around Christmas and New Year’s Day, it would have been best if I had made no plans at all. In kicking off 2015 I want to look back at 2014 which has been a mixed year of experiences for me. I will throw some thoughts onto my page here:

Broader reading

After a few years of not working in a library (and being a library researcher and educator instead) I now have a casual librarian position in a library far from home. The far from home is significant as I am reading on my commute which is blissful. But most importantly, I am reading more broadly. I had not realised the degree with which my reading narrows when I am a buyer of (romance) fiction. I have a limited book buying budget and I am averse to experimenting with my limited funds. I also stopped using my libraries regularly (shocking revelation!) through sheer laziness so being back in a public library has been wonderful. Continue reading

My travel reading and a sense of setting

I’m rubbish at reading while on holiday. Where other people relax at the beach with a book, I reject all reading materials as I am either in the water swimming or racing around looking at every museum, shop, historical building that is close by. To add to this, my latest trip was a combination of work and play (I marked student assignments, along with PhD related conference paper writing and archive visiting), which even further lessened my reading time.

However, I did manage to read 5 novels while I was away (I won’t count the numerous picture books I read to my cousin’s kids). So for this blog only I will write about the place I read each book in as well as the book.

Alexander the Great statue in Thessaloniki

Alexander the Great statue in Thessaloniki

Before I discuss these other books I need to point out that I am both impressed and horrified that I have reverted in my reading habits. 4 years ago, I bought myself a SONY ereader and during an 8 week holiday I did not enter a single book shop and I did not buy a single book. All my reads were downloaded from my local library and Project Gutenberg. My luggage was liberated. Hallelujiah to more space for more shoes. But my latest trip has shocked me. Not only did I not use my tablet for reading but I found myself carting print books across the globe. Thoughthey are much more cumbersome, I love them soooo much more than ebooks. I can write in the margins (I don’t but I could if I chose to), I can dog ear pages (I do), I can litter my book with post it notes, bookmarks made of receipts, ticket stubs, serviettes and beer coasters. Each item becoming in itself a souvenir of the moment that I was reading. I am enjoying my reversion. I want a badge that says “Tried ebooks, didn’t work, print is my swag”. I also want to point out that I always forget to take photos when I am on holiday. I guess I am too busy being on holiday to document it. Continue reading