Like all writers, I came to writing through reading. I didn’t kick my pleasure reading into high gear until 1980. I was serving in the U.S. Air Force at Ramstein Air Base in [West] Germany. I had time on my hands, sitting in my little efficiency apartment off base with no television and no phone in those pre-internet days.
I’d always been a proficient reader as a kid, but hadn’t done much of it. Although I enjoyed a few exceptions, books tended to bore me, a sad alternative to playing outside with my friends. In 1980, no longer a kid running around the neighborhood, I looked to reading as a remedy for boredom. Wow! I realized just how much I’d been missing.
I started with Stephen King (and his alter ego Richard Bachman), because he was producing a lot of material and could keep me engaged. I also read everything Robert Ludlum had available. Indeed, after I made my first trip to Berlin, and actually went through Checkpoint Charlie into communist East Germany, espionage thrillers moved to the front of my reading list. Enter John LeCarre, Frederick Forsyth and others.
From that point on, I couldn’t even imagine life without books, though I’ve suffered some downtime—gaps in my reading—on occasion. This, I’m sorry to say, is one of those occasions. I’m so busy writing my own book, and editing the work of several authors in our Evolved Publishinggroup, that I just can’t seem to find time for pleasure reading.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m thrilled that our publishing venture is about to rocket forward. Still, I miss the simple joy of reading without deadlines, without pressure to find every little word that doesn’t quite work, without authors breathing down my neck like a bunch of….
Just kidding. Our authors are a fine, patient bunch. Nonetheless, I’ll be glad to get past this initial big launch of our publishing venture (7-10 more books in the next 2-3 months). I’ll be glad to relax at night with a snifter of cognac in one hand, a book or my Kindle in the other, and read for the shear escapist joy of it.
I’m curious: Which authors first hooked you on reading?