Why Read?

Lately, I read mostly for fun, for the pure pleasure of losing myself in a story. I read for the marvel of a good writer taking me somewhere I’ve never been, sharing hard research so I learn painlessly. And the pure joy of finding an intriguing fact that holds a promise of changing my life. I read to forget, for a time, lousy happenings in a present world. Fantasy or not, when I read I can inhibit a decent world filled with kind and thoughtful people. Or villains who are clearly named, rarely succeed, and usually get their just deserts. Very satisfying!

I read for solace. I love books that simply help me feel more cheerful, more happy with myself and the world. I also love intrigue, those page-turners where I can’t wait to find out what happens next. I can be sad when the book ends too soon.

For years I’ve read at least a book or two a week. But lately I notice another shift in reading preferences: A special thrill from reading a writer as fast as they write them, and their series. Louise Penny is a favorite with complex characters. I enjoy the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear. (I’d advise beginning with the first, if you’ve never read them.) Anne Perry has two series set in England. The Scottish Alexander McCall Smith is in a class by himself with five, maybe six series. I just finished his The Quiet Side of Passion in my favorite Isabel Dalhousie series. And Blue Shoes and Happiness in the No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Series is simply good fun. If you like that sort of thing!


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