I am reading a horror story called Apartment 16 by Adam Nevill at the moment. It was recommended to me by a friend and, as I had just finished my latest book, I decided to give it a whirl. I am trying to branch out a little with regards to my reading list.

Writers, I’m told, read.

Sadly I read very, very, slowly. So I try to choose my books with care and I almost always get drawn to fantasy, sci-fi and horror, despite brief forays into more real-life fiction I inevitably come ‘home’ to the fantastical.

I think perhaps it has to do with why I read. For me, reading is an escape. It’s a pleasure and a relief from the mundanity of life. With that in mind, why would I want to read about someone else’s real existence, when I can read about magical creatures, or far-flung futuristic worlds or frightening visions terrorising innocent victims?

The speed at which I read is a blessing and a curse. I think I could probably speed up the process with a little effort, but I feel the way I read helps to suck me in more deeply than other readers experience. Reading is a very immersive experience for me. Some books may take months for me to complete so I live with the characters for such a long time that I think they leave deeper impressions on me. For example, if I put a book down in the middle of an active scene I actually worry for the characters, left, suspended, waiting to find out what happens next when I pick the book up again.

I wonder if this experience is the result of my reading speed or simply about how I connect with reading. I’m intrigued to know how others experience reading, and what draws some people to fantasy, horror, sci-fi or to true life fiction, crime thrillers, murder mysteries, life stories. Why do people choose the fiction they choose?


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