Friday, 26 July 2013

Currently reading: Michael Crichton

Being an English lit graduate, it's pretty safe to say that I like to read. However, it's taken me a long time to get back into reading after graduating. Studying English literature sucked a lot of the joy out of reading and it ended up feeling like a massive chore. I used to dread reading the assigned novels and all too often didn't read them at all (a very bad habit, would not recommend). Very slowly, I've started reading again and enjoying it.

Now, I am not a book snob by any means. I don't think that if you're not reading the classics then you're not reading. Quite the opposite. In fact, I loathe a large majority of the canon, having been subjected to dry, dire prose at university. I think the magic of reading comes from your own enjoyment. You should read what you like and be consumed by it, rather than read something for appearances and find it a chore. I can't extol the values of reading enough. I think makes you think more creatively, more critically and more broadly, opening your mind up to limitless possibilities. Ultimately, you should read what you enjoy, whether that be sci-fi, romance, crime novels, whatever. Don't let anyone else's narrow view of literature stop you from enjoying yourself. After all, there's something out there for everyone.

Since getting back into reading, I've tried to pick novels I know I'll enjoy and at the moment I cannot get enough of Michael Crichton. I'm currently working my way through his published works and devouring each book as fast as I can. I love fast paced, thriller novels and he's one of the best I've read so far. I started off by reading Jurassic Park, since it's my favourite film, and became hooked. I know next to nothing about science, having swiftly forgotten my science GCSE before the ink was even dry on my exam paper, and I'm finding it fascinating reading about something I have no knowledge of. Crichton does a good job of explaining the more scientific elements without making you feel stupid, and every book rockets along, leaving me wanting much more by the end. It's this hunger for reading that has been missing and Crichton has reignited the spark. Finally!

So far, I think Next has been my favourite, but I've got a lot more to read. Unfortunately my local library doesn't have any Crichton novels, but there's always Amazon. Those deliveries can't come fast enough.


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