Thursday, March 13, 2014

the art of reading

The book I planned to read for February was Ray Bradbury's Farenheit 451 (the first posts for this project can be found on my old blog here and here). Although I didn't quite manage to read it, I had it started and finished by the 2nd March, which surely shows how much I enjoyed it. (I'm chalking it down as a February read, after all I was cheated out of 2 days I would have had in any other month!)

Surprisingly for me, I do quite enjoy dystopian novels, of which this is one. I say surprisingly, because I would expect that kind of pretext to appeal to the worrier in me, causing me to contemplate the real-life likelihood of such a world becoming a reality. Instead, though, I revel in what is almost to me a dark satire.

I enjoyed Orwell's 1984 (which naturally draws comparisons with Farenheit 451) whilst in Australia, at a time when I was on a placement that involved quite a lot of daily travelling. There was something incredibly disorienting in looking up from the pages to alight from a bus in some unknown Sydney suburb. Whenever I think of that book I am immediately transported back to those commutes, and how they managed to be both mundane and exciting all at once.

In some ways I enjoyed Farenheit 451 more than 1984, the writing was more elaborate and descriptive, and I enjoyed the plot immensely. The edition of the book I had included a brilliant foreword by Bradbury about the process of developing the plot and then writing the book, and I think his description of himself growing up and his love for libraries made me like him from the outset!

Spurred on, I am now well along with my book for March, The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach. The Husband bought this for me after I heard about it on the radio when it first came out, and so far it's proving a good read. It's surprising me how quickly I seem to have re-developed the habit of reading. I have been travelling to London and back a few times on the train in recent weeks. Yesterday, at the station, I went and bought two books to have something to read on my journey. Usually I would have played on my phone, or bought a magazine, and I honestly cannot remember the last time I bought myself a book, usually receiving them as presents and never getting round to reading them (The Art of Fielding and Farenheit 451 both perfect examples of books I was given over 18 months ago!). Suddenly it seems the most natural thing in the world to have a book on the go again, and I am very glad to have rediscovered reading, and grateful to Laura for being instrumental in me doing so.


  1. So glad that you are reading again. Me too, and it feels good. I dream of a train journey with a coffee and a book :)

    1. Hi Laura, just noticed I didn't reply to your comment. I do love the train, and these days I am making much more of an effort to enjoy the views, or enjoy a book, rather than plug into my phone!