When this is posted, I hope to be away on manoeuvres working on the 600th post. I might not be out as on Friday night, last night, I was at the football, watching the Hibs play Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Arena, Livingston’s ground. That stadium, Almondvale as it was originally called, isn’t one of my favourites though the name some wag off Twitter has given it, the Spaghettiad, is quite possibly the best thing ever. A lie in might be the plan for today especially as I might have been pissed off after trudging the mile to the railway station around many, many roundabouts. Livingston is horrible.
I don’t really do tags. In the early days of Walking Talking, I sometimes entered the WordPress photo challenge but I can’t be bothered with that sort of nonsense anymore. I saw one on the Orangutan Librarian blog – not sure what the name is about – and it interested me. It was about good reading habits. I also saw one about reading your country, which was on the Portobello Book blog, so I’m going to break tradition and write a little about them. I just like the ideas so will take them without tags.
My own reading habit is to read when I feel like it and when it is possible to do so. I don’t read every day and I don’t read the same genres all the time. Often I like crime fiction, other times non-fiction, particularly about football or travel. I’m of the school that as long as people are reading, that’s good enough. At the moment I’m re-reading Harry Potter for the umpteenth time. I often read in series but usually the latest instalment as I’ve often binged on them previously. I usually read when I’m travelling and most of what I read is on paper right now. It’s a higher percentage than eBooks at the moment. Given what I do, a lot of what I read comes from the library. It is one of many reasons why I don’t like being given books. I’m not sure if my reading habits are good, bad or indifferent. It’s just what I do.
As for reading my country, I’m very lucky that some of the finest works of literature have come from Scotland. I can’t think of a Scottish book I liked from my childhood but the first one that came to mind that I like to read aloud now is The Fourth Bonniest Baby in Dundee by Michelle Sloan and Kasia Matyjaszek. A book I read in school was probably the poetry of Norman MacCaig, which I still like today. There are loads of examples of historical fiction but it isn’t a genre I read. Quite a few books are set in my favourite areas of Scotland – Glasgow, where I live, and East Lothian, where I’m from – though the Quintin Jardine Skinner crime novels mainly feature Edinburgh and East Lothian but Skinner did work in Glasgow at one point. Peter May’s Lewis trilogy features a part of the country I would love to visit. There are so many Scottish classics and I read a right few of them as a teenager. One I would recommend, and I’ve also seen it at the theatre, is The Cone Gatherers by Robin Jenkins, quite a dark novel set in an Argyll forest during the Second World War. He was quite a versatile author, Robin Jenkins, and I would encourage anyone to delve into his work. A Scottish book I haven’t read but I would like to is Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh. I’ve never read it though I know people who are very devout fans of his oeuvre. Finally, my favourite Scottish authors are Nan Shepherd, Kathleen Jamie, Muriel Spark, Ian Rankin, Stuart MacBride and quite a few others that I couldn’t begin to adequately list.
Yesterday’s travelling book was a re-read, Sightlines by Kathleen Jamie, an excellent book of essays.
Anyway, that’s the Saturday Saunter for today. The March digest follows tomorrow. Have a very nice weekend, whatever you end up doing.