I always enjoyed reading when I was a kid. I remember vividly, when I couldn’t sleep, I would put my bedside light on, pull the duvet over my head and sit up reading instead. I always wanted to read just one more chapter. When my mum would sneak upstairs to check on me, I would quickly switch off the light and hide my book under my pillow but I’d been foiled, she’d find it and tell me to go back to sleep. Busted.
It was while I was on holiday in Menorca recently that I remembered just how much I enjoyed reading. I took two books for my week-long holiday as a way of passing the time while I relaxed by the pool and they did the trick nicely.
I’ve found myself recently wanting to come up to bed an hour early to read a book as it serves a few purposes.
One: It helps me to unwind from the day and start to feel sleepy. The bright light from the TV and my phone have the exact opposite effect.
Two: I’m getting into a story I’m actually interested in. All too often Rob and I find ourselves watching something on TV just because. We’re not even interested in something, we’ll scroll through the channels, moan that ‘there’s nothing to watch’ and settle for something neuther of us actually want to watch. Which means we each end up picking up our phones after two minutes anyway.
Three: It actually feels like a sneaky treat! A bit like an afternoon nap – something that is perfectly fine to do really but feels a bit indulgent, like it’s something you’re allowing yourself to do.
So I came across a Brighton book club on Facebook. I joined a local Facebook group of some kind and within that group someone invited me to another group for the book club. It was a new group that had only started a couple of weeks earlier and they’d already selected a book: Becoming by Laura Jane Williams. I had a quick look at it on Amazon. I realised I had two weeks before the ‘deadline’ when the group would be coming together to discuss what they thought about the book and wondered whether it’d be long enough.
It didn’t take me long to decide. I bought the book and I’ve been reading a few chapters every day. I’m really enjoying it too! I’ve never been a part of a book club before! I know it’s not a formal thing but I’m a little nervous about the critiquing part – I haven’t really been thinking about it as I’ve been reading as I haven’t wanted it to ruin the reading experience. I don’t want reading to turn into a chore or ‘job’ but I’m hoping at the end I’ll be able to gather my thoughts and feelings in a way that helps me to share them in a way I feel is valid to the group.
We’ll see but I’m enjoying it so far and I’m looking forward to seeing what the next month brings!