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If only the US would trade banning for bingeing

Ideas

BOOK TALK

If only the US would trade banning for bingeing

Having said that though, since some books were banned in the country there has been an uptick in sales

Sunday Times books editor

Gman, my partner who builds my beloved bookshelves, is a binge reader of note. And by that I mean he binge reads specific authors. He has gone through all the Jack Reachers and David Baldaccis. He goes on deep dives Googling all the characters, the plots and the authors, researching them, reading reviews and getting whatever information he can. Now he’s reading Long Way Round and Long Way Down, about Ewan McGregor’s TV show in which he and his pal Charley Boorman go on epic motorcycle journeys. He is obsessed with the series, watching it a few too many times to admit it to me.

I can understand bingeing a series of books, where the characters are the same, but I don’t think I could binge read an author’s whole catalogue. This December, for my light, trashy reads, I did return to The Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris (the TV series True Blood is loosely based on it). It’s all about vampires, werewolves, faeries and bad romance and, in the centre of it, is Sookie Stackhouse, who lives in a small southern US town called Bon Temps (pronunciation — Barn Tarmp). There are 13 books in the series, but it’s light, fun reading, so easy to devour in one sitting. No thick tomes here. I did read other books in between and have not read all of Harris’s books or series. I needed a breather, maybe from the tone, writing and subject matter, so I tended to jump between nonfiction and fiction so my brain felt as if it was getting fed something else.

It was much easier to binge read authors when I was younger. When I was 12 I decided to read all the Stephen King books that were out. Then I hopped onto Flowers in the Attic, Virginia Andrews’s very popular yet disturbing tales of incest. My friends and I eagerly spent an entire year reading all her series, which now I think is kind of weird for a 13-year-old to read, but they were awesome at the time. Those were the glory days, when we friends (about six girls) used to go to the library together, have a sneaky cigarette at the back of the building, chat about which books we’d read and exchange them. No one banned us from reading what we wanted and, really, we are mostly (ha!) well-adjusted people with good jobs who still read for pleasure and insight.  ..

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