Thursday, 26 July 2007

Harry Potter 7 got me reading again

Well it's true and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

Here's my big confession - before reading Harry Potter 7 I hadn't read a book since March. And that was nonfiction - my agent Peter Cox's book "You Don't Need Meat".

I find it hard to read when there's a lot going on in my life, especially if the 'life' stuff needs a lot of thought. Some years back, when we were setting up our business, I sometimes read fewer than 5 books a year. A YEAR! This is how come I've developed a short attention span and impatience with reading anything that doesn't grab from page 1. In such times I have had to fall back on re-reading my old favourites like Borges, Calvino, Garcia Marquez and Murakami.

It took a lot of determination to read Harry Potter 7 in a day-and-a-bit - not because it was anything but enjoyable, but because with two girls at home, one pre-reader and one teenager from the Harry-Potter-negative segment of humanity (those curious people!), it was hard to get twenty minutes' peace in one go. I read in chunks punctuated with 'Leave me alone', 'Get your own dinner' and 'It's not my problem that all your friends are too busy reading Harry Potter to hang out with you'.

But having recaptured the discipline of batting the kids away and concentrating long enough to actually follow a fictional thread, I rapidly picked up two more books and read them quick ("Of Love and Demons" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - amazing and "The Chase" by Alejo Carpentier - good but a bit tough-going to be truthful).

Reading is really the best entertainment, once you can submit to a book's demands.

Next I am going to re-read two old favourites by Mario Vargas Llosa. "Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter" and "The City and the Dogs". The latter is one of the vague influences of my current work-in-progress so it's time I revisited...

Current desire-to-write is running around 60%...when I hit 80% I think I can try to get back on the horse re Project Jaguar.

Oh and I loved the way JK wrapped up the saga. Especially the stuff re Snape. Excelente!

1 comment:

esruel said...

The only 'new' book I've read in the past year has been Boy wonder, which was written yonks ago so isn't new at all. I really don't dare read anything which might affect my judgement. This means I don't read anything from when I was a kid in case I unsettle my subconscious. Nuts, I know, but that's me!
Never read Harry Potter, apart rom a couple of paragraphs in WH Smith, after which I closed the book and never went back to it. Now I'm writing the New One, it will be a while again before I pick up anything else. Still, I've got lots to get through when I do!
Keep dancing!