My mad love affair with the work of Thomas Hardy deepens and continues with The Woodlanders, the latest of his novels to grace my shelves. I found this well-preserved Penguin Classics paperback in a used book shop in Edinburgh for £2. I bought it (and a few other books) more so I could say I bought some books from a used bookstore in Scotland than for any other reason. But Hardy is one of those authors whose entire oeuvre I intend to consume, book by book. Though The Woodlanders is a relatively slim volume compared to some of his other works, and though I had the entire week off work thanks to the half-term, it took me an entire week to read it (compare this to the three days over which I read Tess of the d’Urbervilles). Sometimes, when it takes me that long to read a book, I lose patience with the plot, and my enjoyment suffers no matter how great the book is. This was not the case with The Woodlanders. I’m aware I come across as an insufferable fanboy, but I want to be honest from the…
Why I Read
Mostly for entertainment and edification. Reading is fun, and reading is a great way to learn. Although I indulge in television, movies, and video games, reading is my favourite way to relax. With a book, I can experience the story at my own pace, moving faster or slower as my interest demands. Books offer an infinite canvas for the imagination of both the author and the audience; with books, anything is possible.
What I Read
Everything! Well, almost. I try to read as widely as possible in recognition of the fact that genres are more of a marketing label than an adequate way to categorize books. But I have some favourite areas of fiction and non-fiction, and there are areas I avoid.
When I first began reading on my own, I devoured mysteries: Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Agathie Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle. Then I discovered science fiction and fantasy, and those remain my favourite genres today. I still delve into mysteries, historical fiction, and a variety in between, but science fiction and fantasy are my mainstays. For non-fiction, I mostly read books about science and technology. In particular, I love books about the history and philosophy of science, technology, or mathematics.
You can follow my reading above, or at Goodreads.