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To be honest, it’s always hard to pinpoint one experience to talk about for something like this. But I think that in terms of one thing I can mention that set off a chain of events, was our move to where we live now in mid-2010. It was a new area for us, forced out of our old one by price hikes so we moved to a city experiencing an urban renewal – lots of new housing estates on recently-released land so there were lots of houses to choose from. And the vast amount of them meant they were were cheap. Brand new + cheap = winning combination!
Moving here only became significant book wise when I realised that someone I followed on Twitter, a bookish person, lived barely 10m away from me. From there I met the owner of the local independent bookstore. I’d already joined the local library, which is fabulous and it wasn’t long before the bookstore and the library began to put on author events. Before early 2011, I didn’t own a single signed book in my collection! I’d never been to an author event, as sad as that sounds. Since we moved here, I’ve been to as many of the local events as I could, missing out a couple of times when I didn’t have anyone available to look after my son and also when I was too pregnant to move! I’ve met some truly fabulous authors, some that I still talk to today and I have a lovely little shelf of signed books now.
Living here will make it easier for me to attend a few events from the Melbourne Writers Festival this year and I plan to take advantage of that! Being in a bigger town with a fantastic library and actual events to attend has definitely helped boost my reading experience. It’s lovely to read a great book and enjoy it but it’s somewhat nicer to read one and enjoy it and also know the story behind it, how long the author laboured over it and the highs and lows along the way. I’ve met a man who was kidnapped in Somalia and held there for over a year and lived to tell his tale, which was utterly riveting (which reminds me, I still have to do a post on that inspirational event!).
It’s funny in a way, that something that really has nothing to do with books whatsoever, has made the biggest impact on my reading life!