Tagged: reading

But I guess it means something to them, if nothing else, right?

All of these people
Writing all of this bullshit
And never reading

So, 2017. What do you have in store?

Been a while since I wrote anything, but I’m going to try and amend that this year with more regular updates. Not because I expect people to read them, but because the purpose of writing for me has always been a way to vent what’s inside, allow my creativity an outlet, and maybe if I’m lucky, make someone smile.

So what’s different this year? Well, I’ve decided not to buy anything. I have far too much stuff already, even after dropping several boxes of CDs and DVDs and books and assorted crap off at the charity shop. I have enough unread books, unplayed videogames and unwritten stories to keep me entertained for an entire year. I don’t need to buy those. I have clothes in pretty good nick. I don’t need to buy those. The only things I will be buying this year are those things essential to my survival.

Now, I’ve heard people say things like this a lot. Remember that scene from spaceballs?

I can survive without most of the stuff I have. I’ll still need to eat though. But I’m conscious of the amount of food that goes to waste. It’s difficult buying stuff for one person in this country. Everything seems to come in packs big enough for 2 people. I either end up eating way too much, or I eat half and the rest goes off. No more. I’m planning out the first 3 weeks of food, and when I make too much for one evening then that’s tomorrow’s lunch sorted. My plan is to reduce waste to bare minimum levels.

Of course there may be things I need to buy in order to do essential tasks (today I bought a mop and bucket because my floor is a right state), and I’ll make allowances for these, but these will be on an ad-hoc basis and will be carefully considered purchases. As an example, I could do with a spice rack for my myriad pots of herbs and spices, but they still sit fine just on the counter, so I don’t NEED a spice rack. Therefore I will not buy a spice rack. If I DO end up buying something non-consumable I will buy with the intention of not needing to replace it and I will write about it here so you can judge me.

So much for my non-consumerism pact. What else am I going to be doing? Running more. Exercising more. Yeah I do those things anyway, but I want to do them more. At the moment I look alright naked, but I want to look GOOD naked. Don’t worry, I won’t be posting pics. I also want to get back into martial arts. There’s a Wing Chun club in town, I will scope it out.

Standard goal of reading a book every two weeks as a minimum. I think more non-fiction this year, depending on what books are on my shelves, although I think the non-fiction stuff is mostly bizarre conspiracy stuff bought back when I was a weird 20 something. But my plan after reading each book is to give it away. Either to a specific person whom I know will enjoy it, or to a random stranger who I think might appreciate it. Stories like to be read, I think. If you read them and put them back on the shelf to gather dust, you’re discrediting the book. If you like it, pass it on so someone else can like it. If you hate it… well, I guess pass it on in the hope that someone else DOES like it. I will be making use of http://www.bookcrossing.com in this endeavour. You guys should check it out. Feel free to add me on goodreads.com too.

I also hope to play a few more computer games, possibly write about them (either here, or on a videogame specific blog site like Destructoid), and where possible, give them away when I’m done. I haven’t properly thoguht about that one yet though.

That’s pretty much it. I’m not going to set myself a bunch of lofty goals at the start of the year and then get miserable when I fail to meet them after a month. I’m going to evaluate my situation on a daily basis and see which of my goals need tweaking for the current state, or how I need tweaking in order to meet the goals.

Three hundred and sixty five days isn’t really that long, but a lot can change in that time. My goal now as ever, is to embrace that change and see what adventures lie ahead.

2017? Come at me, bro.


Free books? Don’t mind if I do.

I used to be a total bookworm as a teenager. I would read every chance I got; on the bus to school, on the bus back from school, sat at home, even at my part time job on the Tesco fish counter. As I got older and other things made more demnds on my time, I stopped reading as much. Recently, however, I’ve been reading more than I have in a long time, and it’s reminded me why I love books so much.

Today, on a walk into town, I passed a house which had a number of books arranged on the wall. On closer inspection, I saw a notice which read: “Free books! Help yourself :)”

Well, how could I turn that down?

There were two books which caught my eye. The first was “Lion of Macedon” by David Gemmell. I’ve read some Gemmell in the past and rather enjoyed it, although I’m not a huge fan of historical fantasy. The other book was “The Tumuli” by David Eddings. This has been on my “to read” list since I was 14 years old.

As a teenager, my favourite fantasy author was Terry Brooks. I devoured everything he wrote, and was hugely impressed with it all. Around the same time, a close friend of mine was a massive David Eddings fan. We used to talk about our favourite characters from the stories, and he often mentioned Sparhawk. He recommended The Tumuli and I added it to my list, but I had a whole host of Brooks and other books to read at the time and I never actually got round to borrowing the books from him. Pretty soon he headed off to university and I didn’t see much of him after that.

I decided to take The Tumuli and leave the rest. I almost see reading it as repaying a debt to an old friend.

Fortuitiously, on the way back from town, there was only one book left on the wall – it was Lion of Macedon. So I decided to snag that too. After all, who in their right mind would deny good books a home?