I make no secret of my love of fiction. In fact, I can count on one, ok, maybe two hands the number of non-fiction books I have truly loved.
I love reading fiction so much it was not surprising that I ended up studying English Literature at university. Don't get me wrong, I loved almost every minute of my time at uni, it's just that I've always felt slightly err, lacking, in terms of my chosen field. Walking through Borders or Kino, I would always, ALWAYS walk by the rows and rows of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Go Fish, or Who Moved My Cheese, somehow feeling like something was just a little wrong with me for not being interested in what these books had to offer.
So it was with great delight, and a huge cheesy grin on my face, that I drove to work two weeks ago listening to this programme on the BBC World Service - all about the strange world of Business Books. A Business Daily correspondent delved into the reading masses of New York City to see whether the economic downturn had had an effect on the types of books people were reading, and one of my favourite strangers-whom-I-want-to-befriend, the fabulously named Bright Simons who reports from Ghana, talks about what business books look like in his part of the world. At the end of the programme, I felt so not alone. In fact, I felt completely relieved that it wasn't just me feeling a bit weirded out by the proliferation of business books out there.
I felt so good that since 31 May (when that fateful edition of Business Daily reached my ears), I've had one of my best runs of fiction-reading in ages! I've finished The Book Thief, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South.
I love reading fiction because it nourishes the soul. Because it is so profound (to me) that every word I am reading has emerged from someone's imagination. And that I know there is a story within me that is waiting to be told, and that I just need the guts and the wherewithal to sit down and write it out.