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Update: Buying more books than I can read! July 28, 2010

Posted by pacejmiller in Blogging, Book Reviews, On Writing.
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Recently I’ve been enjoying the idea of reading books more than actually reading the books themselves.  I don’t know why that is.  I love the feeling of browsing a bookstore for hours, randomly picking up books with interesting covers, those recommended by staff, or those classics that I’ve never had the chance to read.  It makes me feel motivated and makes me want to write (though I rarely ever do anything worthwhile as a result).

Today I bought another couple more at this cheap bookstore (selling “specials” only), bringing my total book purchases for the year to more than 20.

But the problem is, I’m not reading nearly as much as I want to or should be. Including books I’ve borrowed off others and the free ones I’ve received for review, I’ve only read a dismal 12 books for the year (according to the reviews I’ve got on this blog).  I’ve still got 3 or 4 books borrowed from others that I am yet to read.

It’s not like I don’t have the time.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I used to read more when I was working full time.  Every day I’d get at least half an hour on the train, sometimes a whole hour if I didn’t work late (rare, but it happened).

Another problem is that I’ve been having trouble getting into books lately.  I’d be stuck on the first chapter for days and only read sporadic chunks every second or third day.  I’m not sure if it’s because I had been reading too many short stories and extracts of novels for my writing course over the last few months and it’s put me off long stories.  Or perhaps I’m starting to realise what good writing is like and I’ve become too picky with the stuff I’ve been reading.  Either way, it’s frustrating.  Perhaps I need a really good book to help me get back into the swing of things.

Nevertheless, class recommences next week.  This semester is all serious, non-fiction stuff.  Lots and lots of non-fiction reading.  Maybe that’ll help me redevelop my interest in fiction.

I was reading Anne Rice’s autobiography at the same bookstore today and she said that she was a horrible reader until later in life, even though she acquired a masters in English literature.  So maybe there’s hope for me.

PS: I’m finally starting to submit stuff for external publication.  Nothing substantial, just short reviews, etc, but at least it’s a start.

Eslite: Taipei’s 24-hour book store January 19, 2010

Posted by pacejmiller in Taiwan, Travel.
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The exterior of the 24-hour Dunhua branch of Eslite book store in Taipei

One of my favourite places in all of Taipei is the Eslite book store on Dunhua South Road.

Beneath the unassuming exterior of the building lies a book-lover’s paradise.  Shelves and shelves of books and magazines in both Chinese and English.  Several floors of it.  Most of the books are unwrapped and available for reading.

And the best part – it’s there, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You may wonder what the heck a 24-hour book store is for – it’s not like people read at 3:47am in the morning, do they?  Well, they do.

(Read on about the 24-hour book store by clicking on ‘More…’)


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