Recently I’ve thought a bit about potential readers who don’t read and why people don’t read books as much as we readers would. I also wanted to think about a way that I could talk about this without simply writing a discussion post alone and so I’m delighted to welcome my friend Fionnuala to my blog for an interview!
Fionnuala was an avid reader (the reason we became friends was actually because I saw her with a Derek Landy book in our first year of secondary school!) in her childhood years but took quite a few years break from reading and is only recently beginning to read again. I was super interested to find out her perspective on the bookish world which is why I asked her if she would be interested in taking part in this post! I’m so thankful that she agreed.
1. You used to be a reader but you stopped for a few years. Any ideas why?
I stopped reading a lot when I went into secondary school. I gradually started to read less and less until I couldn’t bring myself to read at all. I think it was mostly due to the new workload that secondary school presented and I also was going through quite a lot of phases that distracted me from wanting to read more.
Maybe this proves a point that pressure in our society is a big factor in why people don’t read. There is also so many distractions in our world such as constant access to the endless streams of social media pages that time for reading has simply sizzled out for many people.
2. What childhood book made you start reading?
I know it’s a classic answer but the Harry Potter series had quite a lot to do with it. I really enjoyed the series as it is fantasy which I find I always enjoy immensely, be it wizards, witches, dragons or just good old fashioned supernatural magic. After reading Harry Potter I found myself getting into many more fantasy series’ such as Septimus Heap by Angie Sage, Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy, His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman and Inheritance by Christopher Paolini. I would still to this day recommend all of these; my younger self had excellent taste.
The fact that you have listed quite a number of books in the same genre also highlights a point in this discussion. Perhaps people aren’t reading because they haven’t found their genre?
3. You’ve started to read more recently! What book broke the slump?
I tried multiple times to get back into reading again by trying to re-read some of the old book series’ I knew I loved but I could only get a few books in before I wanted to try something different. The book that ended up breaking my slump was Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody which was incredible. After reading that I went on to try her other book Daughter Of The Burning City which I loved just as much.
Leading on from an earlier point this shows just how quickly one book can bring back a love for reading (or even spark a love!) if it’s the right book. If people haven’t found their book yet (and trust me there is a book for us all) it has to be because they aren’t looking for whatever reason which brings me to question four…
4. How do you think people can make more time for books?
I think that once you get started its relatively easy to find the time for books. As long as you’re interested you should want to read in your free time and at random intervals throughout the day. I do think that before bed is a great time to read because there is very little that can distract you at that point.
So what your saying is that people have to ultimately want to read and that you have to make a conscious decision to prioritise it. I know this to be true because I don’t have much free time the majority of the year because I always seem to be doing some sort of exam but I rarely feel as though I have compromised on my reading. Therefore I want to know why people aren’t making time for reading? Do they have a negative mentality towards it? Or do they simply not realise what books have to offer them?
5. Would you consider yourself a reader or a non-reader? Why?
I think I would consider myself a reader, maybe not to the extent as some other people are as I don’t read constantly and once I finish one book it’s quite hard for me to let go of it and find another one, probably because I’m so used to book series’. I would still consider myself a reader because I’ve always enjoyed reading and once I get started on a book I like, I read constantly until its finished.
Even this answer tells us something. Perhaps, people who don’t consistently read are labelling themselves as non-readers? It shouldn’t be about the amount of books you read, it should be about a love for reading. If you love reading and you’ve read one book this year you’re a reader. If you love reading and you have read one hundred books this year then you are also a reader.
Also, Fionnuala, you have written like the true reader you are. I have yet to meet a reader who finds it easy to let go of their favourite book (aka the book hangover).
6. Where is your favourite place to read?
I like to read in my bed because its comfortable and cosy, and I can stay there for hours without feeling any need to move anywhere else.
Me too, the only place better than my bed is a sunny spot on my holidays! Maybe this should be a trick to get non-readers or people who haven’t read in awhile reading? Pick the most comfortable spot you know!
7. What does your ideal book look like?
I like books the most when there is a specific character that I’m drawn to and can look forward to reading about so my ideal book would have a character like that. As I’ve mentioned my preferred genre is definitely fantasy so it would most likely be a fantasy book. I also like a book when there is a lot going on, I rarely find plots hard to follow so I like it when there is a lot to focus on because books like that hold my interest a lot better.
Knowing what your ideal book looks like and what you look for within a book is in my opinion part of what makes you a reader. Even over the course of this discussion I’ve come to think that maybe the only difference between readers and non-readers is knowing where to look for your new favourite book.
8. We have been buddy reading a book! How has the experience been?
It’s been great! I like reading a book and then getting to talk about it afterwards because I get very excited sometimes about things so it’s good to be able to discuss it and hear your thoughts on it as well. It was also very helpful in giving me incentive to actually read the book, which I’m very glad about because Ace of Shades was amazing.
Here we have the grand solution! Buddy reading is a great idea to help people immerse themselves in the bookish world. As Fionnuala said it’s a perfect incentive to actually read the book as you know the other person will be reading and be excited to talk about it with you! Plus, there is nothing better than having someone (who actually understands what’s your talking about) to chat about a really good book with.
9. Also you agreed to reading a book I loved this year, The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman, when’s that going to happen?
Soon, hopefully! It’s hard for me to start reading for some reason, I always enjoy it once I get into it but it takes a while for me to bring myself to actually pick it up. I do fully intend on reading it.
I’ll keep on waiting patiently (well maybe patiently isn’t the right word) then. But seriously , everyone NEEDS to read this book. It has been one of my favourites this year, it is just so good.
10. We already have plans to buddy read more books. How does it feel to have a TBR (to be read) pile?
It’s good, I’d prefer it to stay the size that it is for now though because if any more get added on the chances of me actually reading them are quite slim. I’ve always been better at reading things that I like the sound of on a whim, if I leave it too long I tend to lose interest and want to find something else. It’s a bit of a paradox!
I think that’s a real reader problem! Too many books and too little time as they say!
As this post is now totalling 1594 words I think that’s our cue to roll the credits. I really hope you enjoyed this discussion, we would love to know what you think! Did you like this type of post? I know it’s a bit different but it was definitely a fun one to write!
Once again, a big thank you to Fionnuala for taking part in this post! Maybe one day she’ll have a blog dedicated to all things books too!