Pam Hume steps forward

Posted by Guy Pringle, 6th July 2011

When, where and why do I read? Over the years, it's the why that's changed most. During childhood I read tucked away in a corner of the lounge, often surrounded by noise. To this day I can read in a room full of people, oblivious to their presence. Today I stretch out on the sofa, or sometimes on a sun lounger in the garden.


As for when; whenever I have a spare moment of course, although now I've retired I can indulge in the afternoon (and over breakfast), as well as during the evening.


So why read? As a child I read to escape; anything I could get my hands on, from the awful Janet and John books to Cider with Rosie and To Kill a Mockingbird. I buried myself in books, shut myself away, metaphorically speaking, from a turbulent family life. Reading was an individual, isolated experience. I was frequently told to "Get your nose out of that book and do something useful". Nowadays I read (mostly novels) to gain knowledge, to learn about other cultures, families, lifestyles, and the past. I read for the sheer pleasure of reading.


However, reading is no longer the solitary activity it was as a child. It is a truly social experience. I love sharing my reading experiences and circulate books I have read amongst my friends, eagerly awaiting their reactions when the book is returned. As for my reading group, which I joined to broaden my reading; this has brought a new dimension to the social aspect of reading. Every member of the group brings different experiences, preferences, prejudices and, as a result, opinions and interpretations. Reading, therefore, doesn't fit into my life, it is an inextricable part of it, as it always has been.



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Lindy Gomm said...

A bit late with the comment, but here it is anyway. I agree with Pam - as a child I also read to escape (although not from a turbulent family life, but rather from a dysfunctional one. It was what I did to feel normal.)

As to where and when I fit reading into my life now:
- I always arrive at work early so I can have twenty minutes to read before starting work.
- On the long drives out to my mother's house, my husband does the driving, while I read out loud to him.
- We both read during our weekly "breakfasts out". Leisurely eating while reading. Such bliss. Usually one or other or both of us will interrupt the other one to share a particularly good line or passage we've just read.
- I often read standing up at the kitchen counter while cooking. Don't know how many culinary creations have burned because I've been engrossed in a book.

Posted on Sat 26 Nov 2011 @ 05:42

Guy Pringle said...

See, women can multi-task! No way I could do that.

Posted on Tue 03 Jan 2012 @ 17:23

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