My Next New Hobby: Reading!

I suspect for the first 47 years of my life, I had perhaps read less than 10 books. Maybe a Douglas Adams got read. Maybe a Terry Pratchett here or there. It’s just not something I enjoyed.

Two years ago, as I’d just managed to secure my new role working in digital, remotely, using Scrum, I realised reading up on these new areas, reading up on new skills I would need and generally trying to broaden my skills and abilities would be a good idea.

I got a few recommendations and I began.

At this point, I still struggled with it though. I don’t think I’m a quick reader and if I’ve got free time at home, I’d rather play a game or watch TV. Then I found Audiobooks and my journey began!

Move Over Podcasts

Usually while cycling, I would listen to podcasts. Tech, sports, comedy, I had a large list of subscribed shows I would work my way through on a 4 to 6 hour ride. I trimmed this list down and switched in Audiobooks and all of a sudden I was off! I started in the summer and managed to get through 6 books by the end of the year.

As I moved into 2023 I decided to expand my horizons and started with other types of books. Cycling, autobiographies and even a few history-related books crept into my library. I’d moved on from the occasional cheap/free book on Google Play and got myself a bunch of Audible credits.

Also, the pace at which I would get through them doubled to 2 a month.

A selection of books I read in 2023

On To Fiction

But this year things have really taken off as I finally tried some fiction. Having enjoyed Bosch and Reacher on TV, I thought I’d try the books of them, so bought some Michael Connelly and Lee Childs. Knowing a little of Andy McNab I also got some of his Nick Stone series to try too.

I’m enjoying the Michael Connelly universe the most. Bosch is the one that most people will know but there are books starring Jack McEvoy, Terry McCaleb, Cassie Black and I will soon get to Mickey Haller and RenĂ©e Ballard and of course, some books with a few of these in together. They’re well-written, interesting, twisting, mysterious stories. I’ve been enjoying them so much, I bought the series from someone on eBay!

Then we have the Reacher series, by Lee Childs. Lee’s books are written equivalent of action movies, rather than the detective show that is Bosch. Reacher is a cross between Sherlock Holmes and John Wick on a musclebound 6′ 5″ frame. Super observant, clever and able to take down multiple bad guys in seconds, the downside sometimes being it can be a little unbelievable, like a good action movie…

Finally, we have Nick Stone, written by Andy McNab. With Andy’s background in Special Forces, the detail in these is incredible, but sometimes slows the pace of the book down too much. The opposite of Jack Ryan, I love the realism in these books, Nick often makes some odd decisions and things often go very wrong for him. Unfortunately, the detail is almost painful at times, meaning I’m moving on from this series to try some others.

The others include Bobiverse and Harlan Coben, both of which at the time of posting, I’ve only read one of each, but really enjoyed them and look forward to reading more.

New Technology

While in the Alps last month, with my Michael Connelly book, I enjoyed listening to it while cycling and reading the book when back at home. With this in mind, a few weeks ago I bought an eReader and things have hit another level. Not just listening while cycling, I’m reading in my spare time instead of playing Overwatch or watching TV. Some TV works great while reading, like Football (the Euros are on) or the F1.

At the halfway point in 2024, I’m now at 58 books read of my ever-expanding target of 100 in the year.

Who would have thought…