Hello, Dear Readers - welcome back to An Eddying Flight! Today I have another bite-sized podcast for you, courtesy of the RLF's Vox series, this time on the topic of My Reading Habits.
I recorded this a while ago, and it's surprising, listening to it now, how much it makes me reflect. If you cut me in half, you would find the leaves of books intertwined in thin papery ribbons all through me; I am a person whose love of reading has informed their whole life, from the food I eat, to the people I've chosen as friends, to my hobbies, to my career, to the names I give my pets. But this recording is a reminder that even the most integral parts of us will continually change and evolve - at least, as long as we still do. And the fact is that my reading habits have changed a lot since this Vox audio was recorded (quite apart from the fact that I now spend untold hours reading academic journal papers).
For a start, I no longer have the luxury of only reading non-fiction or old favourites while I am actively writing something new. Reading (lots and lots of) new things and absorbing what they have to teach me, then translating those lessons into my own writing is a huge part of the work of an academic. I've struggled with this, but have ultimately found changing that habit to be really beneficial and refreshing (for my take on how to keep on top of this, you can read this post). I also think that after I found out I had won my PhD place, it gave me a kind of joyous impetus to explore some kinds of books that I perhaps felt were too clever and too academic for me before. I read a lot more new and experimental poetry now rather than I ever did before (huge thanks to my friend Sheena for sending me two stuffed jiffy bags of poetry pamphlets when I wanted recommendations), and lots more new literary books - in addition to, of course, lots more academic works.
This has made me feel a bit nostalgic for some of my old favourites though. Maybe I'll take a weekend soon to do a bit of purely self-indulgent re-reading...
Let me know what books are on your e-reader, your nightstand, or in your backpack in the comments or on Twitter or Facebook, Dear Readers! I promise I will be fascinated to know.