30.01.2004 20:11 - More Reading.
After reading the previous entry through, I feel I have to go into my taste further. My taste in books as a teenager ran to cheap science-fiction. Some of these books I still treasure : some I cannot read any more, due to the fact that in maturing, I have realised that these books present a world-view that is antiquated, naiive or just plain poorly-written. For example, I find that a lot of Isaac Asimov\'s work is largely antiquated : The characters are 1930\'s characters, with 1930\'s speech patterns and behavior. This in itself is no bad thing : indeed, it serves as a kind of archaeology of human behavior of a time long past. I remember reading \"The Famous Five\" books as a child, for example, which were written for 1930\'s middle-class children : as a working-class child of the 1970\'s, I didn\'t really understand that people didn\'t have maids anymore and what a \"scullery\" was. I also didn\'t really understand the rather unsubtle class characterisation : Criminals were characterised as working class, stupid and easily fooled by our plucky, jolly good-oh, well-educated, ginger-beer drinking junior-fascist heroes. (Julian in particular being an arrogant little sod, ISTR).
My later reading can be described as Biographies, and Terry Pratchett, amongst other things. Some of the more \"important\" books on the list such as \"Lord Of The Flies\" and \"The Woman In White\" were set books when I was at school. I have pleasant memories of \"Lord Of The Flies\" (insofar as one can call memories of that story pleasant), but Wilkie Collins was a terrible chore to get through. Likewise \"Lord Of The Rings\", a book which I found became inexplicably dull in the second volume, only redeeming itself in Frodo\'s journey. (Terry Pratchett has said that if you\'re 13 and you think LOTR is the greatest book ever written, that\'s normal, but if you\'re 33 and you still think that, there\'s something wrong.)
Looking at the list, it all sounds terribly light. At junior school, I was considered to have an advanced reading-age. Looking at what I\'ve read, you may think I\'ve wasted it. However, perhaps I ought to plead that my profession is one that requires a tremendous amount of reading to stay abreast of modern developments - despite which, until recently moving in with my girlfriend, I used to read in bed every night.
And that list doesn\'t even cover half of what I\'ve read, so poo on it.