April Wrap Up – an apology for fewer blogs than normal and some ideas on how to read more books

April has been a difficult month. We have experienced a close family bereavement which has caused significant grief and rather derailed all our plans for the month. Strangely, my reading has not been affected because books have been my way of escaping from thinking too hard about things that upset me – I have, however, mostly been reading cosy crime and romances as I don’t want to tackle anything more challenging. The blogging has, therefore, had a lower priority than usual and I have not given the time to blogging about books about people with different occupations which I had anticipated in April – I expect that I will catch up as the year goes on.

Also in April our household was joined by a small puppy. He is taking up a lot of time and needs near continual watching so he is another distraction from blogging. I will try and do better in May when the subject of my blogs will be books about colour or with colour in the title. I hope to get some blogs up by the end of this week. I will also add some blogs to my themes for previous months when I can.

I have now passed the 100 books for the year to date mark and my calculations tell me that I am looking at in the vicinity of 370 books read for the year which will be slightly more than the last couple of years – assuming, of course, that I continue reading at the same rate.

A friend asked me the other day if I have some hints to help him read faster. He bemoans the length of time that it takes him to get through a book. I couldn’t help with that because the only suggestion I have is that he practises more. I don’t speed read novels but I do read quickly and people often accuse me of skipping bits. I am not aware that I do and I can certainly talk knowledgably with others about plots and characters. If it is an easy to read novel I can read 100 pages an hour – 70 to 80 pages if it’s a little heavier and about 50 pages of non-fiction an hour. An average romance novel or cosy crime novel will, therefore, take about 3.5 to 4 hours to read with a good, literary novel about 4.5 to 5 hours.

On further discussion with my friend, however, I began to feel that the problem wasn’t necessarily the speed at which he reads but the time he devotes to reading. He has a busy life, a social life and a family life which take up much of his time and he doesn’t have spare reading. Not having the time will limit the number of books read. I probably read most evenings for over four hours, and at other times when I can squeeze it in which means that I can read two novels every three days as a minimum and more if I have time during the day to read – it soon mounts up.

There are no medals for reading more books than anyone else and it certainly doesn’t make you a better person in any way. I enjoy reading more than watching television or, in fact, more than most other activities and as I don’t have children living at home and am only now working three days each week my commitments are fewer than others so I have more opportunity to read more books. Whatever is going on your life and however much or little time you have for books keep reading !