Exercise your reading muscle

Right, I’m not going to post about how in 2016 I’m going to eat better and exercise more, nor about how I’m going to write a masterpiece and take the publishing world by storm. Whatever I write about it’s not fantasy. I’ll keep slogging away to the best of my ability, keep adding to my collection of rejections and maybe, just maybe, find a little success here and there.

The one form of exercise I’m planning to go public on, in the hope that by doing so I force myself to continue with it, is to improve my reading exercise.

Reading is the fuel of all writers and like someone entering a gym for the first time after only jogging I plan to broaden my exercise, my reading exercise. The plan is, borrowed / stolen from a friend of mine, that every third book I read will be something I’ve never read before though probably should have. This could be a classic, or books by authors I’ve been aware of and always felt I ‘should’ read. Whether this improves things for me I’ve no idea, but at least I’ll have a better appreciation of works out there. I’m making no promises with regard to the gender, nationality or any other descriptor of the writers I’ll read, especially as I haven’t come up with any plan, as I come to each third book I’ll dig out something that fits with this idea and see what happens.

In the spirit of the plan my first read of 2016 (after I finish my current book, 1599 by James Shapiro) will be Jane Eyre, Naturally I know the story from various film and TV adaptations but I’ve never read it.

The reason for choosing Jane Eyre is quite simple. Two friends of mine whose opinions I trust have both over the years, quite independently, told me that Jane Eyre is their favourite book, and something they both return to. So at least now I’ll have a better idea what all the fuss is about.

I may, or may not, post about how I get on, depending on whether I manage to continue with it, but it’s a good idea so hopefully it’ll last.

After all, we’re always being told that we should exercise more, and as a writer exercising my reading muscle is as important a way to pass the time as I can think.

 

And reader, I exercised it!

(. . . or something like that)

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