I love reading. It’s that simple, I enjoy losing myself in a story or absorbing the experiences of someone else. However this year has been manic, between work, travel and restoring my new house I haven’t had many opportunities to just sit and read. However I realised the other day I have probably read more this last year than I have since I finished university. However the key to this is not always carving out time to dedicate to reading (though as I’m enjoying a week off as I write this I have grabbed a few hours of sitting with coffee and a book) it has been a change in how I absorb books. I’m using absorb in place of reading as not all my ‘reading’ has been purely looking at printed text.

I was lucky enough to be given a Kindle for Christmas last year and I have to say this has been the catalyst for the biggest change I have noticed. Reading has ceased to be purely a evening task I now grab a few pages at every chance I get. Between my actual Kindle device and my phone I always have the chance to slip in a couple of pages while I’m waiting for something. I have no more idle time, except when I actually want idle time. I recently travelled a week for work only to realise about as I stepped on the train my Kindle was sitting on my desk, never-mind whip out the phone synch my last read location and keep going. That week I finished an entire book on my phone as I was reading for a couple hours each night. Admittedly it wasn’t the greatest reading experience I much prefer the e-ink display of the Kindle, but I enjoyed a couple of hours each evening that would have otherwise been spent idly surfing the web or watching TV. Earlier this year Audible finally released their long rumoured (and much delayed) Window Phone application, this had been the kick I’d been waiting for to resume my Audible membership. I’m on the basic tier, one audio book per month this covers pretty much any title in their collection. Audible is perfect for reading when you can absorb information but can’t sit and read a physical book. I used this on a recent trip where I did multiple six hour long drives, that’s a lot of reading time and it certainly beats listening to the radio or CDs. I think by the end of the project I’d listened to the entirety of Mud, Sweat and Tears by Bear Grylls and Every Second Counts by Lance Armstrong not a bad recovery of otherwise lost time. But my key use for Audible has been while working on my house, I don’t think it’s actually possible for me to paint without an audio book now. This has now resulted in an Audible purchase being as essential to a day spent painting as brushes and dust sheets.

There a still a handful of books that I still enjoy reading in paperback, these are mainly for the collection value. For example the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett, I have read just about everyone of these as physical books over the last few years and they are starting to look like a rather impressive set on my bookcase. I can’t bring myself to admit that halfway through I stopped and switched to ebooks it would ruin something of the collection aspect.

My reading list so far in 2012:


Currently reading: Assassins Apprentice - Robin Hobb

Truckers - Terry Pratchett

Trojan Horse - Mark Russinovich

The 20% Doctrine - Ryan Tate

Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson

Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson

Whispers Under Ground - Ben Aaronovitch

American Gods - Neil Gaiman

Good Omens - Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman

Managing Humans - Michael Lopp

Can’t Swim, Can’t Ride, Can’t Run - Andy Holgate

Company - Max Barry

Liars & Outliers - Bruce Schneier

Born to Run - Chris McDougall

Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman

Public Parts - Jeff Jarvis

Moon over Soho - Ben Aaronovitch

A Dance With Dragons - George R. R. Martin


Currently listening to: A Blink of the Screen - Terry Pratchett

Ready Player One - Ernest Cline

The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

Planet of the Apes - Pierre Boulle

The Long Earth - Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter

The Invisible Man - H. G. Wells

Mud, Sweat and Tears - Bear Grylls

Every Second Counts - Lance Armstrong

Physical Books:

A Place of My Own - Michael Pollan

Snuff - Terry Pratchett