Life is busy. With work, family and all, there is that much time left for myself. And for a very long time I have been very focused in doing one thing, which means not doing a lot of other things. So I wasn’t reading many books because I was putting most of my free time into gamedev. No regrets there, but I like reading as well.
Last year I started reading more serious books with my younger son, not sure if it was too early. Anyway, you never know, so we started reading “The Hobbit, or There and Back Again”. Well, I was reading it. Then after that book came another, more appropriate to his age, and eventually he started reading the title of the chapters, then the first paragraph, then a whole chapter, and now he reads books on his own.
We have this routine that we read together for 30 minutes to an hour every day, before going to bed. He is reading whatever he’s got from the public library, and I do the same. Which means I have been chaining books non-stop since then, and that translates into 22 book this year –and I think I will finish another two before the end of the month–.
Until he decided he didn’t want to read with me any more, we read a lot of children books according to the library; although I would say they are probably more young adult, as some of them treat topics a bit too mature for my son. For example, the “How to Train your Dragon” series by Cressida Cowel, surely they start silly and perfect for a 6 year old, but being 12 books, the last three had a very serious look at very grown up topics like good and evil, love, age or death. These books are easy to read, not too long with a large font and some drawings, so it is very likely I won’t read over 20 books next year.
I’m also trying to include the occasional technical book, but I’m finding it hard. For example, this year I read “Writing an interpreter in Go” by Thorsten Ball, that is pretty good –without being as good as Robert Nystrom’s “Crafting Interpreters”–. After giving Go a good go, I decided that I didn’t want to spend more time with that language, and I think that affected my enjoyment of this book.
You can always put down a book, if it doesn’t work for you. We had to do that with “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”, “Howl’s Moving Castle” or “Only You Can Save Mankind”; and that’s OK.
This year I have discovered Brandon Mull’s series: Fablehaven and Dragonwatch, and I enjoyed them very much –although after 10 books I must confess I was experiencing some fatigue–, and I’m enjoying Richard Osman’s “Thursday Murder Club” books –I have read two, and the third is already waiting for me on my desk–.
All this means I’m doing less gamedev, although I have released two games this year! The more paced activity may have a positive impact in my production, or it may do the opposite: the never-finishing-things monster is always there, waiting in the shadows. Beware!