I love writing, but I do love reading even more. I read on average a book every four-five days. I give myself a couple of days break usually! My passion came from my mother - she is an avid reader and I grew up surrounded by shelves full of books of any kind.
From Danielle Steel to Wilbur Smith, from Shakespeare to Herman Hesse, from Ernest Hemingway to Erica Jung, from Erich Fromm to Stephen King, I had the pick of the best and the worst! I had romance and thrillers, I had philosophy and serious literature, psychology and history and I embraced them all.
All these books shaped and influenced me at a very young age and helped me become who I am today. Many things I have learned from the pages, many different dreamscapes anf worlds I inhabited, many journeys through the fantasies conjured from the hundred different stories. Every time a book ended, a small part of me also ended and disappointment was small or big, depending on how much I loved the book in question.
At 19 I broke my leg in a scooter accident and I had to stay six months in bed, back at my parent's place. Every day I was completely immersed in reading and read about 1 book per day. When you are in bed every day, immobile, without being able to even get up for anything, and I mean anything, all I could do was read.
Of course my mum's books were long ago read, so every visitor kept bringing me new or second hand books! I read anything and everything, just to take my mind off the situation I was in.
As time went on, reading became more and more my love and passion, but after moving to London, I decided to start reading in English instead of my own language, Italian. At first it was hard, even though my English was ok grammatically, it was lacking a lot of vocabulary. I started with I was hoping were easy books, something not too challenging, and so I chose Dean Koontz. I am not saying it is a completely easy read, but it's not exactly academic. I didn't get much at first, but slowly understood more and more. And I got hooked - he is so great and to this day, I still read all his new books. After him, I loved Patricia Cornwell, and I am still following all of her Dr Scarpetta series. The others I love from this genre are: Jonathan Kellerman (and his wife Faye), Michael Connelly, and Jeffery Deaver. Other authors I love are from different genres like Milan Kundera, Noam Chomski, Joanne Harris and also many Italian authors. The result is that my flat is full of books, full of shelves and every new book goes into a pile next to my bed!
I have run out many times of space and I really don't know where to put them anymore. I have started borrowing them from the library, so that I could also save some money, not only space!! Now I only buy new books when I go away travelling; the smell of new books is wonderful and browsing in a bookshop is the most relaxing past time for me.
So reading for me is a pleasure and very entertaining, but also sometimes can be anti-social and selfish, as nobody else can join in. I feel I shut people off a lot when I am reading, I hate being interrupted and so ignore everybody around me. I must then ''read with moderation''. There was a time when I was constantly reading and at that point I had to stop for a while and have a break, before this would have become an obsession. Now, I feel I have a more healthy relationship with books. I don't stay awake half the night like I used to, because I couldn't put a book down. I don't read every second I have free, and even on holiday I stopped reading on the beach for hours and missing life. So, I think that as long as I take it easy and limit my 'selfish pleasure', I should be okay!
I thank my mum for introducing me to this wonderful word of words, and I will certainly pass it on to my children one day, but I will also teach them to enjoy life outside of the dream world of books and not miss out anything else that life has to offer!