I don’t think I’ve had a more miserable week. Between losing my purse thanks to the car break in, running around to get all of my lost identification replaced, and having a cranky call from my ex-boss, it’s been one of those weeks where I want to crawl into a hole and either cry or sleep as the mood takes me.
I’ve had quite enough of that, now. Todd’s out golfing on what is likely to be one of the last, if not the last, nice weekend for golfing. I’m in lounge-wear with a cup of tea and my plan this afternoon is to do my first edit of The Butcher.
I’ve also been thinking about my reading habits, and it occured to me that the Internet, of all things, has reintroduced me to my love of reading after a long hiatus from my high school years.
When I was younger, in my teens, I bought books, but infrequently. My folks had little money, and my allowance was thin. I wasn’t encouraged to work while I was in high school, as my parents worried that a part-time job would take time away from school work. What I had to spend was spent near-exclusively on paperback novels and comic books. (Junk food took up the rest, and the occasional movie.) I used to buy a lot of books, but would only enjoy about half of them, loving some and others finding boring, and not even finishing. I had no way of knowing which were books I might enjoy or might not, and through expensive and time-consuming trial and error, I grew to love a stable of authors and became distrustful of newer or never before heard of authors. And it’s not like the local store was well-stocked or anything – even now I shake my head at all the titles that aren’t available for purchase in the SF section of the local stores, classics and newer authors alike. And TV took up a lot of my free time at night when I wasn’t doing school work.
So when role-playing games came along, which I’ve spoken about before, it seemed like the safer bet. I can play the game with others, I can direct the content, and get far more hours out of an RPG book than a single novel. I could draw and write and act in those universes to my hearts content. My spending habits changed.
In my late 20s I veered away from gaming – not from lack of enjoyment, but from lack of players, of time and of confidence in my own game mastering abilities. Money sank into computer games, usually RPGs. But I also started getting back into books, checking out used and new book stores and reading about books online. I started buying books in gluts, creating a, for me, unheard of ‘to read’ pile, and worked my way through them. And now, in my early 30s, I’m actively going out on the web to research books, to find out what others have enjoyed, what they haven’t, and why – opening me up to more books than I ever thought possible.
And I think, if the Internet had been available to me in my teens and early 20s, I would have kept reading all through those years. Not intermittently as I did, but consistantly.