Saturday, 21 April 2012

Welcome to The Stardust Reader

I am a bit of a bookworm. This may be an understatement. I love books, I love reading, and I love talking about the books I'm reading. I work for Waterstones - the main UK book chain - which means that all day, every day, I am surrounded by dreams, and dream of reading them all. It also means I get sent more free books from lovely publishers than I have the time to read. It's wonderful, but actually quite frustrating - so many books, so little time. If only I could read them all!

I also recently completed an MA in Professional Writing (ok, a year ago now). This means I often view books and read books differently to how I did before, which I find really interesting. Instead from turning reading into a negative experience, something I was afraid would happen, it has simply made me want to talk about books even more. To deconstruct them, see how they work, what makes them so enjoyable - or, as is occasionally the case, unenjoyable. I find myself thinking about it at quite odd times of the day. So I thought, why not write my thoughts down? If even nobody reads them, it'll help me spill out all these ideas that are buzzing around in my mind when I 'm supposed to be driving home, or going to sleep.

Why The Stardust Reader? Some people may think it a reference to Neil Gaiman, which I guess maybe it is, in part - what a great writer to aspire to, and what a simple yet perfect fairy story his Stardust is. But then I looked 'stardust' up in the dictionary: "an imaginary dust that blinds someone's eyes to reality and fills their thoughts with romantic illusions." Which I thought fit rather well.

Do books blind my reality, fill my thoughts with romantic illusions? Some certainly do! And sometimes that's the point, the fun, the enjoyability factor. The escapism. Although the really good books do a lot more, of course. And the really, really good books - whether fiction, non-fiction, thrillers, literary, fantasy, sci-fi - twist this whole concept around, making reality more real, shedding light on those big questions we all have about life. And that, dear reader, is why I love books.

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