Stuff I Used To Do But Don’t Do Anymore (Or How I’ve Become A Less Interesting Person Over Time): Part 4 – I Read A Book A Week (But Never Dostoyevsky…)

James Proclaims (4)

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Here we are then at part 4 of my miniseries on stuff I used to be able to claim I did, but now I don’t really do.

And this one is on reading.

Books that is.

Because I used to read a lot of them and now I don’t.

Although, contrary to the suggestion in the title of this post, I never used to read a book a week. That was a little nod to one of my favourite sit-coms, ‘The Office’ (original UK version, although I am very much a fan of the US version too).

The comment about Dostoyevsky is a nod to the same episode, although it is true that I’ve never read any Dostoyevsky.

Judge me not though, for I can point to a great many worthy authors that I have read, thus proving my intellect. For I have read (and in some cases enjoyed) works by Dickens, Hardy, multiple Brontes, Stendhal, Flaubert, and numerous other authors that appear in the ‘Classics’ section of your local bookshop.

But don’t be too impressed, I’ve also read everything Dan Brown ever wrote, so I’m clearly not averse to an ‘easy read’ either.

In fact, my parents used to joke that I’d read anything I could get my hands on, even a cereal box if there was nothing else available. And in truth I have read some pretty good cereal boxes in my time. The Frosties box of summer 1987 stands out as a particularly good one, although the Coco Pops of autumn 1991 would run it close.

I jest of course, for while these days, as all sensible consumers should, I read the ingredients of cereal boxes to make sure that nothing contained therein is going to slowly kill me over time, I wouldn’t read a cereal box for entertainment purposes. Jars of Marmite on the other hand…

But I digress, for my parents made that observation about my reading habits (or one of them did and I’m not quite sure which of them to blame…) because as a child I did read a lot.

It might make me sound like quite a worthy child but I’m not sure that I was. It was the eighties and there wasn’t really much else to do. Continue reading Stuff I Used To Do But Don’t Do Anymore (Or How I’ve Become A Less Interesting Person Over Time): Part 4 – I Read A Book A Week (But Never Dostoyevsky…)

Badge Of Honour

James Proclaims (4)
A few weeks ago I got a letter from my local household recycling centre. I wasn’t expecting them to write to me. I’ve always had a very functional relationship with the place.

If I have stuff I want to get rid of, I drive there and hurl the offending items into one of the designated areas (‘miscellaneous junk mail’ into the ‘Paper and Card’ section, ‘grass cuttings’ into the ‘Garden Waste’ section, ‘broken kettle’ into the ‘Small Appliances’ section etc. – it’s all very clearly marked out and every unwanted article can be united with other uncherished and malfunctioning items of a similar ilk).

I am a big fan of the service provided by my local recycling centre. I have more than my fair share of accumulated junk to dispose of and three years after moving into our current abode, Mrs Proclaims and I are still coming across various boxes and bags containing items that we’d both long forgotten. Indeed, we are often perplexed to discover things that we were certain we’d already thrown out. Continue reading Badge Of Honour

R Is For Reading

James Proclaims (4)

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R is for Reading and also for reading.

When it is written with a capital ‘R’and pronounced as ‘redding’ it’s a town in Berkshire and the place where I live.

When it’s written with a lower case ‘r’ (or uppercase if it’s at the beginning of a sentence) and pronounced ‘reeding’ then it’s the act of decoding the written word. Continue reading R Is For Reading

Reading in Reading

James Proclaims (4)

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I’m writing this from inside a library. Not just any library but an actual university library. Where people come to study.

In fact it’s the main library of the University of Reading. The University of Reading is so-called because it is in the town of Reading in Berkshire, England, rather than because it is a high level academic institution dedicated to the cognitive process of decoding symbols in order to construct or derive meaning.

You can study things other than reading at Reading although it is possibly ironic that the first assignment for my MA was on the topic of dyslexia.

I have come to study something else today.

I haven’t studied in a library for years. I’m not entirely sure how to do it. Continue reading Reading in Reading