As a regular reader of my missives, you would know that I am always having my nose in a book or two. And more recently, this has also meant having a book or two being read into my ear, by the likes of Stephen Fry, thanks to Audible. I am also not averse to viewing books via the TV adaptations of Holmes, Poirot, Marple, and the ilk. Truly, knowledge in any form is knowledge, and reading in any form or factor is that - reading.
The best way to inculcate a habit of reading is to imbibe the practice of reading at least one line before hitting the bed. And if that book you have chosen to keep by your bedside is one that piques your interest, you will find yourself reading a tad more than that one line. Remember to experiment with genres and authors, as much as you experiment with the place and mood of reading. You just have to put the effort to find your perfect liquor. Mine is Tea, but we will keep that discussion for another day!
Over the years, I have come to realise that I love reading comedies. And mysteries. Not necessarily in that (or any) order. I of course love reading Magic and Conjuring books, and they do make up a fair share of my readings. Then there are books related to (Mass) Communication along with Psychology & people behaviour that never fail to kindle my interest. Most recently, I have been reading up on the history of magic and its impact on life around us, via this fantastic journal published by the Conjuring Arts Research Center called ‘Gibeciere’.
So, Yes! You have to find your happy themes and topics, and until you get there (and even after that!) read far and wide. Do not fear to experiment. There is really no such thing as a bad book, unless you actually found one that is! Then just drop it and move on to the next one. The last thing you want to be doing with books is fall prey to the vagaries of investor bias / logical fallacy. This is always about you and what you like, not what others say you should like.
This reminds me of an article I was interviewed for, 10 years back, called “What book type are you?”
Having stated that caveat, I will share a few recommendations that I have liked and enjoyed. Hopefully a couple of them may match your interests. If not, they will at least guide you in what to avoid!
PG Wodehouse rules the roost. I read, listen, watch, Wodehouse in literally any form and shape. If you are new to this, I highly encourage that you look up “Jeeves and Wooster” in books
, radio shows
, Audible Books
, or even television
). And among that, you will find Stephen Fry a couple of times too, as he played Jeeves in the long running TV series
, and most recently, released an Audible Book (UK)
as the narrator. My recommendation is to try Wodehouse via the eyes and words of Jeeves, and then visit Blandings Castle and even meet the wonderful Psmith.
I have always loved the ‘faction’ books by Jack Higgins, including his most wonderful Eagle Has Landed. This too is available as a most lauded movie, if that is your wont, but I would always recommend reading the book first.
The other all-time favourites have remained Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, and most books by Agatha Christie, especially Hercule Poirot and the Miss Marple series. All these are again available in all formats and are just a search away. Both the recent adaptations of the great detective, Sherlock and Elementary are fantastic and worth a watch.
And if you are (or intending to get) into Audible, what can be better than 72 hours with Stephen Fry reading the Complete Sherlock Holmes? Yes! That’s all the 56 short stories and four novels read into your ears by Mr Fry!