I have a professional ‘About’ page, which you can find here, but I am also a real human being. I am going to express some of my real human self, starting with my relationship with reading.
Although I read as a job, I still retain my love of reading as a whole. In fact, I think my job has only increased my love of words – I have read some things that I never would have done otherwise, and they were fascinating, beautiful and enriching. Proofreading and reading are different techniques, and they are for different purposes, but I enjoy them both.
As a child I was always engrossed in a book (or two, or more). There are boxes and boxes of my books in the attic. I can’t bear to part with them. I am one of those people who can read in whole phrases or sentences at a time, not word by word. I was in the top percentage of every verbal reasoning test I did. Words make sense to me. They are a comfort and a wonderful challenge.
However, there was a brief spell during my time at university where I could not bring myself to read for pleasure. I was reading to gain knowledge, to inform my essays, to prepare for exams, and it wore me down. I couldn’t find any joy in words anymore. This was especially true when I was reading about the terrible, horrible things that human beings do to other human beings.
I turned to television and to films for my stories. And while they are enjoyable mediums, they are not as deep and as engrossing as a book. I think that was part of why I embraced them. They didn’t have the same impact that written words did.
It took a while but reading has returned to being a joy for me. I try to read widely, and I am not a ‘book snob’. My current stack of books to read ranges from Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death to The Pilgrim’s Progress.