Books: To have and to hold . . . until death do us part.

Not necessarily. I intend to go to my grave clutching my iPad so I can continue to download library books in the afterworld. One of the greatest joys of retirement for me has been to finally have the time I’ve always wanted to immerse myself in reading. While I often have two or three books on the go at the same time, alternating back and forth between a serious subject and a light-hearted one, I usually read between one and three books a week, on average.

I particularly like the huge, thick historical fiction books by the likes of Ken Follett which keep me engaged for days, or Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina which gave so much more insight into Russia than I’d ever encountered before. It took me a while to get into but then I could not put it down. I even loved Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment. In the last couple of years I’ve added mysteries to my list of favourites, particularly those quirky ones by British authors.

Reading is a lovely way to avoid household chores and cooking. I read while I eat breakfast; I read while I eat lunch and for as many hours before and after meals as I can manage. Books take us to foreign lands, land us in plots of foreign espionage, put us in charge of solving mysteries, teach us how to manage our lives, and take us on romantic adventures beyond anything we have experienced in real life. And, with a library card, I never have to leave the comfort and convenience of my La-Z-Girl to summon up the latest bestseller. Everything is accessible on my iPad with a couple of magic touches.

I’ve never been a fan of book clubs because analyzing plots and characters from “suggested book club discussion questions” is just too onerous—too much like high school English classes. Yawn! I would prefer to attend “book sharing” clubs where each participant describes what they’re currently reading and explain why they do or do not like it. That is an excellent way to pick up good recommendations and not waste time on uninspiring reads.

I recently attended one such Meet-Up gathering in a Mississauga park. About a dozen people gathered in a circle on the grass on Sunday afternoon with the sole purpose of talking books. My kind of people. Everyone threw one or two books into the middle for sharing. We were encouraged to bring a book, talk about it, and take a book. I met some fascinating people, all of whom were one or two generations younger than me but it’s healthy to step beyond our comfort zone.

MeetUp’s Readalicious group. My kind of people.

One of the first things I ask someone when I meet them is, “What are you reading now?”. I love talking books and I always have my name on the waiting list for at least half a dozen books at the library. Eventually what I’m waiting for will ultimately land in my in-box. I don’t know how I ever scored on reading comprehension at school though because as soon as I finish a book and move on to another, I forget what I just read. I even have trouble remembering the title of the current book I’m reading. That’s why I have to race to my computer to write my book reviews for BoomerBroadcast as soon as I finish the book or it’s gone from my brain. Pffft! Whenever I read something I particularly love, though, it’s all I can do to restrain myself from buying a copy for everyone I know . . .  or I’d go broke.

I hope the day never comes that my eyesight craps out and I can no longer read. I suppose I could resort to audiobooks but I’m more inclined to fall asleep listening to a book than reading it. My friend Louise has successfully combined audiobooks with her daily walk. And, my hearing is no hell either. I’d need blue-tooth hearing aids.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the book reviews I post regularly. On average, every second posting on BoomerBroadcast is a book review, and they’re always good reviews because I do not feel compelled to finish a book I’m not loving. Check out BOOKS in the menu at the top of the page for suggestions.

I just hope they have WiFi when I’m six feet under. I should have “Don’t block my WiFi” etched on my tombstone, right under “She finally quit complaining about her hair!” Then, I will truly live happily ever after. Do you have any good recommendations for books you loved that I can add to my list? My time is limited and I have to load up.


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