22 January 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Inspired

Since “Inspiration” is (or should) the theme this week - what is your reading inspired by?

This was a hard one to answer. I don’t think of myself as needing a reason to read, and I’ve been doing it as long as I can remember. Essentially I read because I can’t not read, because without a book on hand I’d be lost. I call myself a book addict, and it’s true that there is a degree of compulsion driving me ever onwards to the next volume. Books make me happier than anything else; I find being at a library or a bookstore or a book sale and seeing all those rows of lovely books to be pure bliss, and I have only to look at my TBR box to smile. Books offer both an escape from humdrum reality, and a way into a better world where there are interesting people, exotic locations, knowledge to acquire, things to spark my curiosity and imagination, and thrills without any danger to myself. Or at least just a character having a much worse day than mine.

What I read is a department where there is room for inspiration. Generally I read whatever I feel like reading, though I do try to space things out so that there’s a bit of variety and more challenging volumes are separated by easier reads. Now that I’ve embarked on the delights of NaNoWriMo that influences some of the reading I do as I like to research in advance. (Expect the Victorian and the Gothic this year!) Reviews, especially those of other bloggers, keep my must-read list at an unmanageable length and I’ve been known to acquire books I otherwise wouldn’t look twice at simply because I’ve heard good things about them or their authors. Or I just read whatever’s due back next at the library!

The biggest influencing factor, though, is serendipity. When you get almost all your books from second-hand sales and libraries luck determines what you are able to choose from. I look for titles from my ever-expanding list and then I just browse. An interesting title or cover will catch my eye, the blurb will sound interesting, and I’ll end up borrowing a history of London graveyards, or buying a biography of someone I never previously knew existed. It can be a haphazard system, but somehow it works.


jlshall said...

Good answer! I think serendipity is really the best influence - or at least, the most fun.

Smilingsal said...

Titles and covers grab my eye too. Happy BTT.

"Confuzzled" Shannon said...

I like your answer.:-)

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Header image shows detail of A Young Girl Reading by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, c. 1776