I do love reading books when they’re newly released. People are talking about them, getting excited about them and sharing their opinions of them, and there’s nothing more enjoyable than being part of that nationwide – occasionally worldwide – conversation. Just as important for me, though, is choosing a book that sits well with my frame of mind at a particular moment in time. Waiting for the right moment to read a book can often be the key to its enjoyment. Have you ever started a book and quickly abandoned it, not because of its quality but because it just didn’t suit your mood? And have you then returned to that book some time later and found the experience of reading it completely different? I know I have; proof, I think, that it’s often worth giving things a second chance. As time goes by, I’ve become a better judge of which books I’m going to enjoy when. I’ve found that I prefer the novels I read to reflect the mood I’m in, rather than take me out of myself to a different emotional state. If I’m in love, for example, I’m much more inclined to read love stories – when I’m not I tend to find too much romantic content a massive turn-off. If I’m feeling at low ebb I’ll gravitate towards stories with a melancholy edge, rather than the more overtly sensible option of finding something light-hearted to cheer me up. Writing style is also important: sometimes I enjoy the challenge of grappling with a dense, literary read and sometimes that’s the last thing I want. The result of these various considerations is that there are books on my shelves that have sat unread literally for years because their moment hasn’t yet come. The novel I’ve just started, “Portrait of an Unknown Woman”, is one I bought on a colleague’s recommendation over five years ago! But finally, its time has come and I’m absolutely loving it.
Reading old books can sometimes feel like a bit of a no-no if you’re blogging, as most people, for obvious reasons, prefer to talk and write about new releases. As I said at the start of my post, it’s certainly exciting when you’re able to participate in the buzz and discussion surrounding a new publication. But fundamentally I read for my own pleasure, and I blog about it because I want to share those fantastic books with others, whether those books are hot off the press or yellowing around the edges. I believe there is a perfect moment to read every book – you may just have to wait for it.