The writer who doesn’t like reading

I don’t like reading.


Yes, that’s right. I think it’s time to come clean with you all and admit that I’m a writer who doesn’t like reading.

So when I saw this week that the UK Telegraph published the list of ‘100 novels everyone should read‘ I decided to set myself a goal: I would read every one of the books on that list before I die.

4 books at home

Our bookshelf at home has 4 of the 100 on the list – seems like a good place to start!

I then did what every person does when they see a list like that and counted how many on the list I’d already read.

Now, this is quite embarrassing. My number is… TWO. Yes, I have only ever read, cover-to-cover, two books on the list. And they are number 99 – To Kill a Mockingbird (that we had to read in High School and all I really remember is when the teacher finally let us watch the movie and I felt sorry for the dog with rabies) and number 38 – The Great Gatsby (that I read recently and thoroughly enjoyed, even though I supposedly don’t like reading and even though the pont of view thing totally threw me).

I have to admit I have attempted to read a few more. I have read at least the first few pages of 77 (Catch 22), 52 (The Catcher in the Rye) and 27 (Frankenstein) all as recommendations from the husband when I’ve been rummaging around in the bookcase looking for something to entertain me for 5 minutes.

You see, I think that’s my problem. I fill my life with so many activities and events that I only ever have 5 minutes here and there to fill with leisure such as reading. And throw the addition of a baby into the mix and that 5 minutes is more recently reduced to about 1 minute a day.

And then there’s my love of writing that always seems to get in the way. If I do get a few spare minutes I like to sit down and write… that’s always my first preference. In fact, even though I set myself the challenge to read 100 novels before I die, here I find myself writing a blog post about it instead.

Let’s work out the sums. It’s taken me 32 years to read 2 of the world’s greatest novels. Going at this rate I will be the ripe old age of 1,584 when I finish the list. I better get started.

So I’ve begun book number 97: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. I’m already up to page 32, which is ironically also my current age.

Is there something in that coincidence? Maybe it’s the answer to the meaning of life…


To see my tally of how the 100 book challenge is progressing (and reviews of all books read), click here.


Filed under BLOG: The Duchess of Charlestown

20 responses to “The writer who doesn’t like reading

  1. Good for you, Jessie! I, too, seem to only have snatches in time between all the activities that keep me occupied – and I’m retired! Just remember, perseverance is a virtue we can all practise with great reward.

    • Thanks Di! I have set myself reading challenges in the past and never succeeded, but maybe I’ve matured enough to see this one through… at least long enough to finish the first book!

  2. Once I picked myself up off the floor after your confession I had to consciously consider my own preferences. When I have time to do what I like what do I prefer to do? Like now – I have 2 hours. I checked emails and your post popped up. Of course I had to read it, so reading won out there. Now I want to write a response to your intriguing post. Okay, both reading and writing in 10 mins. Before I checked emails I hadn’t decided whether to sit in front of the heater and continue reading ‘Unwrapped Sky’ by Rjurik Davidson which has me in it’s clutches, or write the next scene in my fantasy ss. The desire is to read but that’s because that’s where the excitement is now, today. Tomorrow it may be completely different. I love both reading and writing. But I’m going to now check out the list of must-read novels to see how many I have left to read…

  3. Pingback: The writer who doesn’t like reading | ugiridharaprasad

  4. camgal

    Don’t feel bad. My acquired taste in books has caused us to be somewhere in the same a boat (a rather big boat it seems). Many of the books you mentioned are merely books i’ve heard of constantly or recently (Great Gatsby- still only watched the movie) and Frankenstein is the only book you stated that I have read cover to cover in every available version so cheers 😀

  5. Pingback: 100 book challenge – my running tally | Jessie Ansons

  6. Pingback: 1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams (100 book challenge) | Jessie Ansons

  7. Pingback: 2. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley (100 book challenge) | Jessie Ansons

  8. Pingback: Our place (Friday Fictioneers) | Jessie Ansons

  9. Pingback: 20. Dune – Frank Herbert (100 book challenge) | Jessie Ansons

  10. Pingback: 21. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini (100 book challenge) | Jessie Ansons

  11. Pingback: 22. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott (100 book challenge) | Jessie Ansons

  12. Pingback: 23. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee (100 book challenge) | Jessie Ansons

  13. Why don’t you just read what you want to read? 🙂

    • It’s a good question! I think the answer is that if I didn’t set myself the challenge I wouldn’t read anything at all. It’s about starting a reading habit, so it’s no longer a chore. I’m onto my 24th book now and have loved the experience so far.

  14. Pingback: 39. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon (100 book challenge) | Jessie Ansons

  15. Pingback: 46. Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell (100 book challenge) | Jessie Ansons

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s