Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Getting back into novel reading

Time slips by quickly. I'm getting right back into a routine that entails a daily visit to the CBS office wedged in between domestic and personal tasks. On Monday after work, I had a replacement screen fitted to my Samsung Galaxy Ace II. Only when I was on my way home on the bus did I discover that although the touch screen itself worked fine, the touch area and home button at the bottom of the screen didn't work. That meant a trip back to the shop on Tuesday morning to get it fixed. The tech guys were charming and apologetic. They were in a rush and I was in a rush at the end of Monday, so neither of us had tested it thoroughly before parting company.

While I was waiting for the second repair I popped into W H Smith, and impulse bought a couple of novels to read - Patricia Cornwell's 'Dust' and John Le Carre's 'A delicate truth', both of which hit my curiosity button, and were a discount bundle. I started the former to kill time, and was soon hooked. Over the past few years I haven't read many books. I simply lost interest. I read a lot of news on line, and get doses of fiction from watching telly, and on Monday that meant the first Episode of the acclaimed 'Hinterland' on BBC Four, which was first produced on S4C, and is gloriously bi-lingual, and for once it's not Danish or Swedish and English, it's Cymraeg - Ardderchog bechgyn

Blessed or cursed with a strongly visual way of engaging, I get a lot from well crafted authentic film drama. If you're interested in storyline and its messages, concentration of narrative in visual images saves lots of time. It's another way of saying that I'm impatient with slow convoluted descriptive narrative. If I want that sort of imaginative pleasure from words, I'd choose poetry to conjure with. Now, I like Cornwell's complex story lines, but tend to speed read terse descriptive passages she uses to evoke mood and atmosphere. In this respect, 'Dust' portrays the world in much the same way as in novels she wrote a dozen years ago - wintry, dank and grey for the most part.

I wondered if I still had enough patience and concentration not to get bored with reading a novel. I now realise that when I'm abroad or on holiday I have little taste for reading because there's so much to see take an interest in and take pictures of. Yet, leisure reading is a major industry, and every expatriate community I know of has some kind of book exchange facility, if not a library, so many if not most people do read. When I get stuck into a book, I shut the world out completely and read every spare moment of the day and evening until I fall asleep. That's easy when the world outside resembles the backdrop of a Patricia Cornwell novel, as it has done here lately.

Wednesday morning, I acquired a new office chair for home. It'll do me no end of good, as it sits tall enough at my desk to allow correct typing posture. I should have done this years ago. Ashley and I drove to the PMR offices in Chepstow in the afternoon, to sort out some issues with several radios. The weather had cleared up sufficiently by then to make it a very pleasant drive, with the deciduous trees along the route glamorous with fresh growth of leaves.  

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