A year of ‘read until you hate it’

One of my most frequently asked questions, other than “Who are you?” and “Errrm, did you just eat my dessert?”, is “What kind of books do you read?”. I am very ashamed to say that, up until this year, the only answer I could really give was “The 50 Shades of Grey Trilogy?”

Yep. For a full-time writer, I didn’t do an awful lot of reading (or confessing of these sins). MISS AUSTEN, I HAVE FAILED YOU AND YOUR RADICAL LITERARY GOALS. But, oh how times have changed…

When New Year’s Eve 2015 rolled around, I decided to make my resolution one that I would be super proud of. I’m no stranger to setting myself slightly unusual challenges – collecting stuff, taking photos, facing fears, talking Rick into letting me have a puppy – but they always seem to be challenges that fade quickly *glances down at puppy-chewed slippers that were thrown at a spider in fear*.

I wanted something more. Something that involved frequent changes of pace and new people. Something bloody (paper cuts impending). Something I could push myself to do every single week. ‘Read an entire book a week, for a whole year’ sounded like a good way to start.

No longer would I be fumbling in my brain for the names of renowned authors, tested on my title knowledge or confused as to where the semi-colon is ‘supposed’ to go (IN THE BIN, I know, I know). By the end of 2016, I would be a well-read adult, a much better writer, and (apparently) tired as Hell.

Well, this weekend marked a quarter of my way into this challenge.

I have just completed my 13th book (out of 52). I have read them cover to cover, I have not skimmed, skipped or slept through any major plot points. As of this moment, I am fully on track and still have most of my sanity left in tact. More importantly, I have already learned a heck of a lot from this experience.

Life-changing realisations:

  1. Reading is much, much more anti-social than it looks.
  2. Stephen Fry is a massive pervert.
  3. A heavy book is a terrible choice to read in the bath.
  4. The RAF would be a poor-suited career move for me.
  5. Spike Milligan was (and still is) a genius.
  6. You will develop a ‘don’t talk to me, I’m reading’ look of deep repugnance, that will scare children for years.
  7. The good guy is probably the killer.
  8. There is more beauty in a single sentence by Graham Greene than in your wedding vows.
  9. Reading personal correspondence is highly addictive.
  10. During a busy week, The Very Hungry Caterpillar totally counts as an “entire book”.

I joke, but Stephen Fry is genuinely a massive pervert.

I’ve been leaving reviews from each book on my Instagram, with a specific hashtag, ’cause I’m so social-media (the only useful hashtag I’ve ever used as a filtering system). Find read-list here:

#spadgereads2016

My favourite book so far has been The Humans by Matt Haig. It’s full of absolutely incredible writing and a story that gripped me like a brain-hungry zombie. I’m always on the look out for new reads and book trades.

As with most things in life (and as the blog title suggests), you can very easily start to hate something if you get stressed over short deadlines. If you know of any brilliant, yet short, books then please do share the wealth. I will read literally anything, especially if I can do so in one sitting. Huge love.

xoxo Gossip Spadge (that’s for you, Yaz.)

  • Try The Fish Philosophy!! I’ll bring you in one of my copies when I pop in next xx

  • If you want some short books, head for some modern classics:

    – Junky
    – Fahrenheit 451
    – Brave New World
    – To Kill A Mockingbird
    – Cannery Row
    – Of Mice and Men
    – A Clockwork Orange
    – Nineteen Eighty-Four
    – Animal Farm

    You *could* stick The Catcher In The Rye, Lord of the Flies, and War of the Worlds in there too. I didn’t enjoy them much, but they are objectively well-written.

  • Spadge

    Thanks so much Luke, some absolute classics in there, and some I haven’t heard of! Perfect combo.

  • Joel Evans

    The Woman in Black is short, and much better than the film (where Harry Potter plays an adult).