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I can go months without reading novels. There are times when work is so much “input” that when I get home I can’t face concentrating on yet another thing. It hurts my head.

For the first time this year, I’ve felt like reading and I’ve gone back to one of my all time favourites – Patrick O’Brian’s brilliant series about the life of Captain Jack Aubrey and his particular friend Doctor Stephen Maturin. I love period fiction and this is one of the very best. There are twenty books in the series – with snippets taken from a few of them to make up the movie “Master and Commander” starring Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany as the lead characters. I still think they should do another one – do you hear me there, Russ?!
Master and Commander
There’s something magic about delving into another world described in such a way that the times and the people become familiar, comfortable and safe. I’m with them every step of the way, I laugh at their jokes and fear for their lives.

I can’t imagine not being able to read. It seems like every new film released prompts another round of the old book vs movie conversation. And more and more, I’m finding acquaintances that have never read the books modern films are based on – or even heard of the original film a modern one is “remaking”. Considering the popularity of recent films like the Life of Pi, Les Miserables and The Great Gatsby, it’s a shock that some have never come across the written story first, and don’t seem prompted to read the book afterwards either. Movies show a story, sure, but to hear it fully you have to go back to the original storyteller and sit at their table.

Even if I only reread the books I’ve loved – I’d have enough to keep me going for years. It makes me sad there are kids out there that may never get the thrill of sitting quietly, for hours on end, alone and thoroughly absorbed in the tale of another time, place and people they’ll never meet otherwise.