We all have a favourite stable of authors we return to again and again. We either devour their new books or we re-read their old books, embracing their familiarity. It is a comforting and enjoyable way to pass the time.
When searching for something new to read, we either try a writer who is recommended as similar to one of the authors on our favourites list or we pick something from within the genres we are most comfortable with.
We never stray too far away from what we know.
That is not necessarily a good thing however for a reader or an author.
Out of My Comfort Zone
A few years ago I was seriously ill. A friend of mine arranged a delivery of books to my house to see me through my months of treatment. There were five or six books in all. None were the kind of books I would have picked for myself. Some were literary reads, others historicals, outside my go to periods of history, some were futuristic but not sci-fi.
I read them all over the months I was laid low. Firstly, because having read the blurbs of each I was intrigued by then and secondly because they had been a present and I would have felt a little mean if I had not read any of them.
My friend had told me that if any of the books did not appeal to me that I could swap them for others, she wouldn’t mind but I didn’t want to do that. It would somehow have cheapened what was a wonderful and thoughtful gift.
Imagine my surprise when whole new worlds I would never have inhabited opened up before me, sucking me in and holding me in their sway.
Try Something New
There is definitely something to be said from stepping away from the familiar and reading something new. So next time you are searching for something to read try something from a genre you’ve never read before or, better yet, walk into a book shop and pick up the first book your eyes alight upon.
Reboot your reading list and you’ll be rewarded by discovering new worlds and new writers you would never otherwise have met just like I was.
The mornings are chillier now and the trees are starting to lose their leaves. In the evenings, the darkness that once crept across the garden stealthily now drops in with all the subtlety of a hammer on a nail.
Spring and summer may be my favourite seasons but once I have adjusted to saying goodbye to summer, there’s plenty about autumn I love too.
The Beauty of Pie
There’s the food for a start. No more light lunches and healthy salads. Now is the time to bring out the casserole dish and let a tasty stew simmer in the oven for a couple of hours, the delicious smells permeating the kitchen and whetting my appetite or batch cooking some pies with beautiful flaky pastry.
Taking Willow for a walk is always a favourite past time but at this time of year it’s fun to scrunch our way through fallen leaves, then watch as Willow snuffles her way underneath them as more leaves pirouette down around us borne on the breeze.
For me there is nothing better than a bracing walk in a fresh wind and then home to a brimming mug of hot chocolate or tomato soup to warm me up.
But there’s something even better about the change of seasons. Now that the dark nights are here, I’m always gripped by the desire to snuggle down on a comfy sofa, wrapped in a soft throw and indulge in my love of reading without feeling guilty.
Of course I still read when the sun is shining and the days are blissfully long but when the weather is fine I’m usually out and about or pottering in the garden. Reading takes a back seat to doing in the summer time.
When the autumn comes, it’s time for a change. I give myself permission to slow down. It is a sort of hibernation, I suppose. I look forward to my nights snuggled up cosy with a good book. I welcome the ritual of choosing a group of books to read between now and Christmas. Then studying the covers and the blurbs and deciding which book will be first, which second and then third. With an eclectic taste, I often choose different genres. I usually have a couple of bankers, I know I’ll enjoy with perhaps the odd wildcard thrown in for good measure. New or old, you can’t beat the smell, feel and experience of a real book.
So that’s what I’ll be doing between now and Christmas. How about you?