Tag Archives: The Readers Podcast

17 Days Of My Life Wasted Listening To Bohemian Rhapsody………….

……….This is apparently the amount of one’s lifetime that the average person will spend listing to, and for me, singing along falsetto to, “I see a little silhouetto of a man! Scaramouche! Scaramouche! Will you do the fandango!”  - or at least that’s how long I’ll spend on Bohemian Rhapsody singalongs according to Stuart Maconie on BBC Radio 6 (and if it’s reported by the BBC then it must be true!).

I mention it because I’m conscious of the fact that I don’t seem to have time to read at the same speed as everybody else. Last night I listened to “The Readers” podcast which included, between the giggling, the dates for their Summer Book Club, which I posted about previously. Now ordinarly 8 books in 8 weeks (the dates are on their website!) wouldn’t have phased me one bit – in fact until recently I’d have laughed scornfully in the face of such a mealy-mouthed reading challenge – a book a week now though terrifies me!

My anxiety about my reading speed is heightened by the fact that every bloody reading blog I suscribe to seems to indicate that everybody else is reading one book a day – at least! I love reading the different blogs I subscribe to, but the speed at which say the bloggers at Book Snob or Random Jottings go through books makes me feel I should have stuck to Janet and John!!!!

(and as an aside if you remember the travails and misery of being taught to read through Janet and John, you might like this take on it – Wendy Cope’s poem Reading Scheme!)

At the moment I’m reading Guernica by Dave Boling. The book is good, I’m enjoying it and everything is as it should be – except for the fact that I started it on Monday night and I’ve only reached page 124! If I’m to enjoy blogging about books, but find the time to have any books read to actually blog about I need to save time! So for a start I’m ditching Bohemian Rhapsody!

However a quick trawl of the Internet showed me that in addition to frittering away my life screeching about a bloke who’s telling his mother he’s just killed someone and that they are coming to get him (a plot straight out of Midsomer Murders I think!) I found out that I am:-

1. Wasting 46 days of my life just getting ready! (Mind you could be worse – if I was a woman apparently my time wastage on getting dressed would go up to 136days!)

2. Wasting 13 weeks of my life lying on a beach trying to get a tan (and I’m a Glaswegian for god’s sake! We only do two colours – milk bottle white or pillar box red!)

3. Wasting 4 years (yes 4 bloody years!!!!!) on the phone at work – no wonder so little gets done each week!

4. Wasting 138 weeks of my life washing clothes (and it is a waste – all that time and I still always manage to look like I’ve slept in them!)

5. Wasting 125 days of my life having a shave ( Ryan Giggs doesn’t bother with this and having perma-stubble hasn’t held Ryan back!!)

6. Wasting 27 days of my life getting romantic (who’d have thought buying petrol station flowers every year on Feb 14th would take so long…………..!) and then wasting a further 2 weeks kissing!

When I think about all that time wasted, it’s no wonder I don’t have enough time to read! So from here on, to get back that time, I’m ditching washing and getting dressed, I’m abandoning shaving, and if I’m not getting dressed then I need waste no more time washing clothes, and I’m giving up work and I’m accepting finally that my skin will NEVER go brown! Then I’m going to take most of the time I’ve saved and devote it to reading so I should start to get through Guernica and other books much quicker. But I won’t put all that time into reading – I’ll save a bit of it for the romantic stuff because I don’t know about you, but that didn’t seem enough to me!!!!

The Box Of (Might-Otherwise-Never-Have-Been-Discovered-By-Me) Blogging Delights!!

One of my favourite books as a child was John Masefield’s “The Box Of Delights”. If you don’t know it, the story is a children’s fantasy novel about a boy struggling to hold the power of a magic box which allows whoever owns it to be shrunk in size and experience the wonderful delights inside the box and to be able to visit the past.

I mention it because the internet and particularly blogging and social interaction media like Twitter, have become a ‘box of delights’ for me in the weeks since I discovered them. I know that there are many irritations, frustrations and concerns about the internet but through other people’s blogs and tweets I’ve already found out about so many books that I wouldn’t otherwise have read.

In the relatively short time I’ve been reading other people’s blogs about books and writing I’ve been amazed just how many people are out there with a love of books and reading and there’s no doubt some have already started to influence me and subtly alter my reading preferences (for example, through Book Snob’s blog I have rediscovered Robert Graves and am about to embark on Siegfried Sassoon’s diaries, through dovegreyreader’s blog I have discovered Adam Mar-Jones and thanks to Random Jottings, I’m about to take a deep breath and then dive tentatively into the world of Mapp and Lucia!!)

A twitterer (or is it tweeter – who cares?!) I follow is Savidge Reads, who has also just re-started his blog (though I’m new to it). Through that I picked up on a podcast called The Readers which I’ve started to listen to and because of that I found several other book and reading related podcasts that I’m starting to check out (last night I enjoyed listening to the World Book Club interview with Carlos Ruiz Zafon – great stuff!).

In addition to the podcasts, The Readers is planning a Summer Book Club and they’ve just released the titles. The format sounds like a combination of e-mail exchanges, Skype discussions and podcast interviews with each of the eight authors on the list. It sounds like a great idea and yet again has led me to books I wouldn’t otherwise have discovered. There are eight titles on the list.

Pure by Andrew Miller
The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan
Packing For Mars by Mary Roach
Now You See Me by S.J. Bolton
Redemption in Indigo by Karen Lord
Bleakly Hall by Elaine di Rollo
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan

I’ve read two of them (Pure, which I finished yesterday and of which more later, and Half Blood Blues, which I read last weekend and which again more of later!). The other six have added further to my reading travels because I may not have come across them otherwise and they are now on order!

The Readers Summer Book Club confirmed yet again for me that discovering blogging (as I write that I am cringing because I can imagine anybody reading it thinking ‘How the hell can he only now be discovering blogging?!! Where has this man been?!!!!!!’ – Answer Dont really know!), and discovering Twitter (yes I know, same questions and same answer!) has been a real “Box Of Delights” for me and one I’m really, really, glad I opened!