Wednesday, 21 October 2015

On Writing

*Disclaimer: personal post alert!*

A little less than two years ago, I participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, for the unfamiliar among you) and churned out about 27,000 words of a novel, a feat of which I am still extremely proud. At some point during the writing process, however, I lost confidence and became bogged down in questions about why I was writing at all.

I liked the novel, I really did, but it somehow felt like it wasn't coming from me. I was writing something I thought people would want to read, but I wasn't writing something only I could create. And I came to realise that this fear of uniqueness, of authenticity extended far beyond my writing; it was pervading every aspect of my life.

So I stopped writing, and I put that particular passion of mine in a box and stashed it away where it couldn't bother me, and I got on with other things.

But writing didn't seem to want to leave me alone. I thought about it secretly. I noticed it constantly. I seethed with envy whenever a friend or acquaintance came out as a writer on social media (which happened surprisingly often). And in the end I just had to give in!

So this is me declaring that I'm writing again! I don't know what, and I don't know where it will take me. But that's part of the fun isn't it!? Who's with me?

p.s. Sorry Stephen King, I stole your title.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Let's Talk... Re-reading Books

First off, let's get out of the way the awkwardness of not knowing if there really is a hyphen in 're-read'... My instinct says to put it in but I've also seen it without all over the place. PLEASE ADVISE!!!


So today, in honour of this not-having-posted-anything-in-forever-and-I-really-need-to-kick-this-habit blog post, I would love you all to join me in my new series of discussion posts. These will relate to all things booky and book-bloggy, and you're all more than welcome to join in the discussion in the comments.


Today's post, as you've probably worked out from the title, is about re-reading books.

Now I'm a huge re-reader, especially when it comes to my childhood favourites. In fact, I'm re-reading the Harry Potter series now, which is probably what prompted me to write this post!

Here are a couple of reasons why I re-read books. Feel free to leave your own in the comments :)

1. A safe bet

I'd say probably the biggest reason for re-reading books (for me) is that I know I'll like them. Although I love to discover new books too, sometimes all I want to do is hop back on the Hogwarts Express and lose myself in that old familiar world.

'He accused me of being "Dumbledore's man through and through".'
'How very rude of him.'
'I told him I was.'

This is one of my all-time favourite Harry Potter quotes. I love revisiting this moment in the book!

2. Noticing something new

This is often especially true of childhood reads. Sometimes, the new perspective that comes from reading a book in a different phase of life can make you see things you never noticed before. When I re-read The Railway Children, I was surprised by how much of an adult perspective is slipped in by the narrator. When I re-read Wuthering Heights, I was able to appreciate it in its own right, as opposed to comparing it constantly with Jane Eyre.

Sometimes you can tell from the first time reading it that a book will benefit from a re-read. I know there are loads of mysteries where I'd love to see if I can decipher the clues now I know whodunnit. And some books are just so complex or confusing - One Hundred Years of Solitude is one that initially springs to mind - that I just know I haven't gleaned everything I can from them!

This can be a bit of a double-edged sword though. Sometimes re-reading a book you loved as a child with an adult perspective can put a damper on your enjoyment and show you some of the flaws you never noticed before. Has this ever happened to you?

3. Connection with the past

This is a strange one... Do any of you associate certain books really strongly with a time or place? 

For example, whenever I think of The Professor by Charlotte Bronte, I'm transported back to my bed in my little flat in Germany with the rain pounding on the windows. Breakfast at Tiffany's reminds me instantly of the little holiday cottage my family rented in Wales, and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes takes me right back to the table in the corner of the Costa where I used to work, devouring those stories on my lunch breaks.

Talk to me!

When/what was the last book you re-read? 
Do you ever re-read books? 
Why or why not? 
Have your re-reading habits changed over time? 
Has re-reading ever ruined a book for you?
Where do your books take you when you re-read them?

I'd love to hear your views! :)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...