Books are among the bastions of civilization - the things that separate us from savages.
Books are insidious. As we read, not only do they open the world to us, but they also
painlessly make us think and consider others' views.  They even help us develop
language skills. Good writers are avid readers.
Of course, there are books and there are
books. We all have favorites. I have read
most of the classics, and I see why they are classics.  I would happily read them again.
I like most genres, although I have not read a romance. I tried once. I opened a copy of
Judith Kranz's
Princess Daisy, a hugely-successful romance at the time, but I didn't
read much. I thought you got arrested for writing that sort of thing. There probably are
many, interesting romances, (although a writer told me that you write them according
to a set formula), but I have too many other books to read at present. Maybe someday.
Another genre that gives me trouble is current science fiction. You would think that, as
a scientist, I would like science fiction, and I do like some. H.G. Wells wrote great
science fiction, and more recently Arthur Clarke did the same, but science fiction
should be based on science, and too much today is mixed with fantasy, and most of
that (except for Harry Potter) is hogwash (or maybe hogwarts).
When I'm not writing, I read everything in sight. But for relaxation, I like thrillers. Not
gory stuff and not horror, but something that grabs me and keeps the tension running
nonstop - well, maybe a few chances to breathe. Thrillers are wonderful when you are
on an airplane, which is the most boring, uncomfortable place in the world. Still, any
well-written book is wonderful. I just wish that I had time to read even more.
Updated  23 August  2011