I used to be an avid reader.
At a very early age, I learned to read and after that there was no stopping me.
I graduated through A.A. Milne through Enid Blyton [God forgive me] to the likes of Malcolm Saville, Arthur Ransome and a load of other authors whose names I have long forgotten but whose stories linger on.
My reading rate was somewhat phenomenal. I could get through a book a day, so I used to need a large stash of reading material to keep me supplied. In the end I just started reading the same books time and time again. Of course I joined the library as soon as I could and I worked my way through their shelves like a rat through a drainpipe.
In later years the range of authors widened somewhat and it's a list too long to mention.
Then a few years ago, something happened.
To this day I don't know what it was.
It was like passing through a portal into another world.
I stopped reading.
There wasn't any significant event. I wasn't thrown out of the library or anything. It was a bit like Forrest Gump – I ran and I ran and I ran and then one day I stopped running.
That was around four or five years ago and I have read a mere handful of books since then. I haven't been in the library since, and the librarian must be wondering where I went. He knew me well and used to put books on one side if he thought I would enjoy them. That pile must be quite big by now.
I started on "Black House" by Stephen King many months ago and I'm still less than half way through. I have a feeling I may have read it before but what the hell…. I read a page or two at night and then fall asleep, and I have stopped reading during the day altogether.
The only time I read now is on holidays and I have quite a pile ready and waiting. The strange thing is that on a holiday, the old Reading Me returns with a vengeance and I can really lash through the books. I only hope my stash is big enough, but there is an excellent bookshop in the local village, so no worries there.
Last year when I was down there I ran out of books and bought two new ones. The first of the two, I read in a couple of days before the end of the holiday.
It took me about nine months to read the second one.