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.

Pam

 

To add your thoughts on your cultural life to the mix simply email info@newbooksmag.com.

Comment(s)

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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