Good Reading : December January 2010
my say Ialways feel a bit nervous in the lead-up to Christmas. Why is that so? Well, I have to make a selection of holiday reading. And in my family, I'm sort of expected to tote along the holiday reading for others too, and you probably understand why. So when I'm looking for a pile of books to read, I have to consider their tastes as well. This is not so tough, as we all like fairly similar books, but the pressure is certainly on to pick good reads. So I select half-a-dozen books and we all share them around. This can cause friction because no-one can talk about a book until we've all read it. But we all have fun wryly alluding to the stories over the dinner table without giving too much away. It's funny too, as I hardly ever receive books for Christmas or birthdays. I suppose it's logical -- most people would think it would be like bringing coals to Newcastle, but actually I would love to receive them. I wonder if any of the family will read this? Hmm, well I would like some old editions of the classics ... some Jane Austens would be nice and I've never read Wuthering Heights. Don't be too shocked, but I've never read Dickens either. Mmm, maybe some Agatha Christies? I'd like some old, leathery smelling copies. Something from the bottom shelves of a musty secondhand bookshop. But something funny would be good too. Okay, I'll stop there. I know some readers leave lists on fridges in the hope that a gift will be made of a title or two. I know other readers who place sticky notes on the pages of gr as a guide to gift givers. In fact, that's a good idea, and one I might try too! As 2010 looms, we're busy planning for next year with some new series of articles in the works. We have a new travel series to give you guidance about what to read, from fiction to non-fiction, when you're planning on travelling to a city. Plus, and we're serious, some interviews with dead authors. It might raise some eyebrows, but hopefully it will make you smile too. Of course there will be lots of books from new and cur rent authors to talk about and there are always the classics to keep exploring. And although I can't quite believe it, next year will see us publish our 100th issue of Good Reading! This is an exciting milestone, and we're looking forward to sharing this celebration with you all. Next year will be interesting -- we should see the release of the r umoured Apple Tablet, as Apple finally weighs into the e-book market. Many have been eagerly awaiting this event, hoping that Apple will be able to produce the most user friendly e-reader with all the whiz-bang features, similar to an iPhone. Some people in the book industry say that 2018 is the year for e-book sales to overtake sales of the printed book. Things are certainly changing. Author Philip Roth recently said he thinks novels, either in printed or electronic format, are doomed, and in 25 years' time they will be read only by a 'cult minority'. It evokes images of people secretly meeting in dark cor ners of cafés to discuss or swap books. I think this is an extremely pessimistic view. I think there will always be the novel, and whatever for m it takes, that it will remain the genre that the majority of people read. What do you think? And happy holidays everyone! If there's an e-book in your Christmas stocking, let me know. I'd love to hear about your experience of reading electronically. PS We have a new book club e-newsletter. And better still, it's free! Visit our website to sign up. We've also added a new feature to our website that provides information about which writers' competitions are open for entry. There is a myriad of competitions for aspiring writers and these are a great way to kick-start a possible career. Check out our website for all the details.We've also been busy on facebook, so if you're there why not become a fan of Good Reading? We have some interesting conversations happening!