Inspired by some course or other on children’s literacy, I’ve been keeping a ‘reading river‘ since January 2013. It sounded infantile, but I’ve kept to it remarkably more faithfully than logging my reading on Goodreads, or anything else. It’s become a diary, of sorts, something to idly flick through and recall times, places and people, such as the stay at my parents’ when I devoured all the Earle Stanley Gardener and other Penguin Green Series crime paperbacks I could find on my dad’s shelves in a matter of days. That year, coincidentally, I read 75 books.
After a mini ‘therapeutic readathon’ last week, I’ve been updating that reading river – staring wistfully at that list of 75, because my total this year will be under 50. I’d be the first to say ‘quality, not quantity‘ – in fact I do say this to my students all the time. And I also tend to question/doubt those voracious online readers who claim 200+ books a year.
But. So many books. So little time.
My literary housekeeping led me to the Boar’s Head Bookshelf, which hits the rather grand total of 75 today. So far, I’m still able to resist the temptations of my Arden Thirds, so this total doesn’t actually include any copies of the plays themselves.
The latest batch of additions, in green and bold as ever, include a batch of Ben Crystal books which I think are wonderful as teaching aids or simply for people interested in getting stuck into Shakespeare in a more meaningful way. Best of all, they’re written in plain English. It really doesn’t get much more accessible and yet useful.
Also, you’ll find a decent biography of Richard III by Anthony Cheetham – again this was written extremely clearly, and did the best job I’ve found so far of explaining the Wars of the Roses as a preamble to Richard’s life. Take a look!
With the end of the year approaching, make a resolution to start a reading river in 2018!