Monthly Archives: September 2012

For All The Cows – My Experience With Reading (Or lack of it…)

You know, apart from the back of the cereal box, girly products in the shower and the world wide web of shite that haunts me on a daily basis, I really don’t read enough: Yeah, the occasional flick through The Guardian and the (very occasional) hardback but this, of course, does not qualify me as a ‘reader’. For those of you that don’t know, I’m back to studying (Higher English, Higher German and yes…before you ask… I do have a JLS pencil case and no…you did NOT…get yours before I did.) So in the not so distant future, this will all be changing. You know, the more I think about it he more I look forward to it. I damn well should be a reader. I write enough. Well, not as much as I should, but I damn well try when I do. So it got me thinking: If I put so much effort into writing, then why can’t I apply that effort into reading?

Growing up, my mum and my sister were both excessive readers. There was always a great and varied selection of books in our house albeit on the feminine side… One of my earliest memories was of my mum nagging my old man to build a bookcase (which was always put off). When he finally got around it, I remember taking great pleasure in filling the shelves even though the majority of the books weren’t mine.

My bookcase in the flat. A literary wet dream. Jealous much?

My bookcase in the flat. A literary wet dream. Jealous much?

My sisters shelf was overlapping: Stacked to the brim with ‘The babysitters club’ series and old favourites in new editions, (The Railway Children, Treasure Island etc.) sourced from a weekly magazine that was delivered to our house (I hate junk mail…) I could never make sense of my mums collection: Mostly daunting fiction novels, way above my reading level. Regardless, I was too young to understand anyway. I couldn’t even figure out why she had her head in a book so often when the tele was on…

I took pride in filling my own shelf: Roald Dahl; Enid Blyton; An array of colourful wildlife magazines; And all sorts of dinosaur related books. I obsessed over nature and could get lost in those books for hours on end. I still have that passion today (nature that is not books) and I tend to find some comfort and calmness when reading about/watching wildlife. Anyway…

My dad Isn’t much of a reader: I would buy him a book most years for Christmas but they were rarely read. I got the hint in my early teens and gave up buying them. Eventually, I moved my alliance to DVDs but they were neglected also. But I guess he needed more time to prepare the awesome Christmas dinners we used to get. With that, he thrived. Delicious.

Overall, there was a healthy selection of books in my house growing up and I had my fair share. When I read/flicked my way through enchanting and mysterious kids books, I would wrap myself up in my own imagination dreaming of exotic creatures and lost worlds. Books (perhaps not so much the reading aspect but certainly the visuals) had an effect on my childhood for sure and has carried on through to my adult life. I have a vivid and wild imagination that can be my best friend when it’s at its best and my worst enemy when it decides to play tricks on me.

Well. at least I have some tact when it comes to writing. Found this ad in Singapore. Would you live with this guy?

I am fortunate enough to have travelled the world.

In my opinion, reading books and seeing pictures as a child fueled my future adventures.

As I became a teen, I developed a healthy obsession with girls, football and video games (but strangely, cars, did and still do bore me…)

It started out with football magazines (Shoot and Match were the two I have memories of) as I enjoyed reading about my boyhood heroes. I think I revelled in knowing more facts and stats about the game than my friends. It was always something to talk about wasn’t it? You know, whilst you waited around for your pubic hair to grow in…

I still love the beautiful game, but computers? Not so much.

I think I only bought those magazines for the free playable demo (or stole them if they would have happened to have become loose from their protective polythene, but shhhh… don’t tell anyone…) Not much has changed. I would rather have been outside then and I’d rather be outside now.

The lad magazines? Well, perhaps that was an unhealthy obsession. To the displeasure of my mum, I actually obtained a bulk load of previous editions of FHM (for him magazine) from a friend that couldn’t believe his luck when some moron volunteered to take them off him. This in fact managed to take up a healthy amount of space in my wardrobe. So. Many. Magazines. What a headache… However, these magazines helped me learn about the ever-changing world around me and I eagerly awaited next months copy. FHM was like a bible for many teenage boys and I was no exception. And hey, it didn’t hurt that it came with a free poster…

Bringing us back to 2012, we’ve established I don’t read as much as I should but I like to write. I actually feel terrible about it as I would love to have the patience to work my way (and emotionally invest myself) through a good piece of fiction. The genre? Not that fussy, but I have to be genuinely interested. I find it hard to invest in a book that can’t grab my attention within the first three chapters. Patience has never been my strong point and that goes for other elements of my life. In terms of online reading, a lot of my time (but nowhere near enough) is devoted to travel sites and message boards as this is where my interest lies. Out with travel, the majority of the rest of my time goes to a meagre five or six different sites. No need to list them. I’d put money on you guessing them all… I have good intention to write (voluntary) for as they always welcome my input whether that be helping out with some words of advice for fellow backpackers (you know, don’t get arrested, lay off the lady boys etc. ) or an article here and there. Just because I’ve travelled, doesn’t necessarily make me qualified to give advice, but I do so anyway. People, kindly, gave their knowledge to me when I needed it so I try to give it back in any way I can.

When reading this book, I actually found a red paper clip on the floor of the train. What's the chances? (No don't be silly. Of course I'm not going to talk about the actual book...)

When reading this book, I actually found a red paper clip on the floor of the train. What’s the chances? (No don’t be silly. Of course I’m not going to talk about the actual book…)

Of course I try to maintain this little blog space on word press when I have the time but even if I had it, finding the motivation is another thing all together. But hey, if you have kept up with my writing over the years, you will be sick to death of hearing about that particular topic.

Here is a statement for you:

Writing/creative writing is a hobby of mine and something in which I’m passionate about.

Reading that sentence back to myself brings a smile to my face. Why? Well I have my reasons. I’ve always had the passion in my life I’ve just (at times) lacked the direction. Hopefully I can bring the two together. For the first time in a long time, I’m in with a fighting chance.

I am genuinely excited to be doing Higher English. I’m enjoying it and in my life, that’s half the battle.

Take it easy folks and happy reading (even if it is just your test results from the gum clinic…)

Mick Foley? Have a nice day mate. Come back to Scotland when you’re funnier.