Friday, 27 June 2014
A Year of Reading Dangerously, by Andy Miller, which I've just finished, was an interesting read, though not to me particularly dangerous. It was refreshing to read about a man who reads fiction in the way that Andy Miller does, but I suspect he his not totally unique. Many years ago I did a survey of male readers in the library in which I then worked. One of the questions I asked was to name some favourite authors. The majority of authors named were male, which I don't think was surprising. Given that one of the many reasons people read is to reflect on their own lives, surely men will favour male writers and women will choose female authors on the same basis. But all real readers will choose authors of either gender if what they say has some resonance with them. Looking at Andy Miller's List of Betterment, he includes 39 male authors and 11 female, probably a slightly higher proportion of female writers than that chosen by those readers who responded to my survey. Certainly his reading was wide ranging, not genre-based and fifty books in a year , or about one a week is a good average for an average-speed reader. But its not how many books, or how fast you can read that matters. What really matters about reading is that you read, with curiosity, interest, enthusiasm and hopefully some degree of enjoyment and even enlightenment. Just keep reading. Which is where I totally agree with Andy Miller.