The books I read over and over again

1 Mar


This is my book-buying process…

If I want to read a book I upload it onto my iPhone if possible. I read it and if I love it I buy the printed version so I can read it again, properly and then if it becomes one of my greatest hits, I’ll actually read it several times throughout the course of the year.

At the moment my greatest hits include:

A Song in the Daylight by Paullina Simons

On Writing by Stephen King

Remember Me by Sophie Kinsella

Open By Andre Agassi

For the past five years or so these have been read and re-read and each time I get something new out of them. They get me through the times when I just haven’t found anything I want to read and that is rare. Sometimes after a new pile of books arrives I’ll read one of these to delay the pleasure of opening a new book and reading another potential greatest hit.

Reading completely transports me to another world and I love seeing people reading in strange places. At my local park I see a mum reading while pushing a pram around in circles. I assume it is an ‘incidental exercise meets baby nap time’ moment and why not read at the same time as well. Today on the way to work I saw a guy reading while waiting to cross the road, just trying to cram a few pages in before the little green man lit up and interrupted him.

I have been reading as long as I can remember. We didn’t have much money so I used to read the same books over and over again. One was about a seemingly ordinary woman who was a witch and made magic brownies that allowed humans to understand what animals were saying. I’d give anything to find that again. Sweet Valley High was a big part of my life thanks to an excellent school library. I’ve never wanted to be a blonde twin so much in my life. I was more of an Elizabeth than a Jessica.

It has to be a pretty bad book for me to put it done and I’ve done this a handful of times in my life. Once it was a crime novel by a famous novelist that was just way to violent, unnecessarily so. It was out of place, for dramatic purposes and I abandoned it a couple of chapters in. Another book I stop reading was so poorly written that I felt like getting a pen out and correcting it as I went along. You know those books that are so bad you feel like you could easily do better and even start writing a novel only to abandon it and go back to reading the works of others.

For a quick fix and some escapism I read Janet Evanovich. Jeff Apter wrote a brilliant book called Chasing the Dragon about Marc Hunter from Dragon and it is one of the best books I’ve read in the past twelve months.

Like my taste in music, my taste in books is eclectic. I’ll give all genres a go. I do tend to rebel against trends though. It took me years to read Lord of the Rings and Twilight but I am happy to say that I read Bridget Jones’ Diary well before the movie came out (and it was the first time I wasn’t severely disappointed by a film adaptation).

A friend recently commented that I have a lot of diet books on my book shelf. It think it’s so I know what I’m talking about when I completely dismiss suggestions like giving up all carbs or eating according to my blood time.

Seven Deadly Sins by David Walsh is a brilliant read about his experiences as a sports journalist and his complete disbelief that Lance Armstrong could suddenly start riding so well after a mediocre beginning.

I love a good recommendation too. My friend Amelia recommended Judith Lucy’s Drink, Smoke, Pass Out which had me in stitches and regretting putting my son in a Catholic school. “Who knew Jesus looked like Vigo Mortensen?” Ha.

I love wandering to the back of the book store and choosing something obscure or older that I’ve somehow missed or that isn’t being heavily promoted. Some good books fly right under the radar and our lives are lesser for it.

I read at home, on the toilet, at the park and sometimes if I arrive home early from work I park around the corner from my house and read a quick chapter before pulling into the driveway and having three adorable children projectile themselves onto me.

Many of my books contain artwork by my children. My daughter enjoys “decorating” my books and is so proud to show them to me that I rarely scold her. Luckily she uses pencils so I can still read the text.

I only ever lend out books I don’t mind not getting back. When I first read French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano (which, weight-loss advice aside is a fascinating read for the history of food alone), I so didn’t want to part with it so I bought a second copy to lend out to all the friends who were asking to borrow it.

What are you reading now?

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