Strangers on a train

Yesterday East Coast Trains (well the people that run the company rather than the trains themselves) launched the first ever Twitter crime story. The author Martin Waites ‘tweeted’ the first line. Followers can then ‘tweet’ what they think would be a good next line. East Coast will then publish this -sorry ‘tweet’ it and so on and so on.

Putting aside the fact that grown adults talking about ‘tweeting’ is frankly ludicrous and I always have visions of lots of people doing the birdie song actions to each other. Whilst I think it is great fun trying to come up with the next tweet and is no doubt a great marketing ploy I’m not sure it’s actually going to produce a story I’d read. Wasn’t there some kind of game played when we were children whereby you wrote something on a piece of paper, folded it over and then the next person wrote something else? I can’t remember what the point or the prize was though, but I’m sure it was similar.

To me in order to really enjoy a book you have to sit down and read the first few chapters all in one go in order to ‘get into it’. Reading requires time and dedication to enjoy properly. It’s no good just buying lots of books and having them sit and look pretty on your bookshelves. Often those who have the nicest sets of books, in the most pristine condition are those who don’t actually enjoy reading them.

There is a man who comes into my gym, he turns up wearing professional looking speedos, tinted goggles, he stretches before he gets in the pool, all ready for a good old workout. He then swims so slowly that from a distance he barely moves, and does two lengths (of a pool the size of a walnut) before getting out. It doesn’t matter how professional you look, if you don’t put any effort in you won’t get any reward.

I think the same goes for reading. Often the best books are those that take a bit of work to get into, a good example being the previously mention CJ Samson.  Sometimes you have to sit down without any distractions to start off a book, on a train for example. You can sit down for a couple of hours with nothing else to do, and really get into the story. Until of course some kid gets on with his MP3 blaring, then the self-important idiot behind starts loudly making phone calls to tell everyone how important he is, then the tannoy person starts shouting about how they want to apologise for the delay due to leaves on the line/signalling problems in Peterborough/missing driver (delete as appropriate)

Despite that trains are a perfect place to read, as are hotel bars. You may have to put in the effort to ignore all the distractions around but just occasionally you find a quiet train that’s not delayed and you can really enjoy a good book.

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1 Comment

April 20, 2012 · 4:20 pm

One response to “Strangers on a train

  1. Pingback: e-Book Crime « Brian Stoddart

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