Reading for Pleasure vs Reading for Work

I read a lot for pleasure, but I also do a lot of reading for work.  As a freelance computer programmer, I have to read about the latest updates to system software, and on occasion, I read up on some new technology or the latest framework that will make my life easier.

Recently I started reading about the Yii framework, mostly because I liked the way the framework came together and did a lot of the grunt work for you when putting together a website.  It also made customization fairly easy,but there are still some topics that require a little looking into.  There are not very many books available for Yii just yet, and even though the documentation is very thorough and the samples are very good, there still seemed to me to be a little something missing.  I did finally manage to find a good book on Yii (written by Larry Ullman) but I find the reading a little dry, and with three children at home during the summer,it’s been hard at times to concentrate on work.  But I do my best. 🙂

But when it comes to reading for pleasure, it seems that it’s easy to find something that I like.  Of course, it helps that I have some rather eclectic tastes in “literature.”  And yes, I use the term “literature” very loosely, some of the stuff I read really is what I consider “cotton-candy” reading, it’s got a lot of fluff and satisfies the need for escapism, but there’s not really all that much there.

On occasion I find a book that reaches me in a way that surprises even me.  Village Books, written by Craig McLay, was one of those books that did just that.  It was well written with believable characters, and made you want to be there with them through the ordeals of everyday life.  Village Books was a free download I took advantage of on a whim, I liked the title,and thought a book about a bookstore, how normal.  I guess I was looking for something a little more “stable” than the horror, suspense, thriller and sci-fi I had been reading lately.  Those who know me, know I like to read Stephen King, and consider him to be one of my favorite authors, him, along with Dean Koontz are probably my top two.  I also like historical fiction, like that written by James A. Michener, but in general, suspense and sci-fi are my go-to books.

Village Books is a book about the life of a Day manager at a local small bookstore, which is eagerly pursued by a big conglomerate.  The twists and turns of his days are not really all that dramatic,but they are what could happen to your friend that happens to be working at Indigo, or maybe Barnes and Nobel.  The fella is a nice guy,and one of those nice guys who doesn’t necessarily have everything work out for him, and you kind of want to root for him anyway.  No matter what the days do to him, you feel for the guy and want him to succeed.  I can’t really tell you if he did or not, but it was fun to follow him along on his daily routine and his social life.  Village Books is one of those books that you may stumble upon by accident, and then find yourself looking for more books by the same author.  I hope Craig McLay has written other books of the same quality, because he will definitely get more sales when I buy them!

I also read, in the two or so weeks since my last post, a book by J.A. Konrath called “Dirty Martini.”  As some of you may recall, I’ve read a few books by Konrath, also known as “Jack Kilborn” and have enjoyed them tremendously.  This one is a different sort than the others (Haunted House and Afraid) but somewhat similar to “The List” which is a Crime novel.  Dirty Martini is a “Jack Daniels” novel, that is, following in the footsteps of Jack Daniels as the pursuit of criminals progresses.  It is a very good book, it took turns that were unexpected, and drew you into the story relentlessly, making you turn the pages until the wee hours of the morning, because you *had* to know…

I really like Konrath/Kilborn, and will continue to find and read these until there are no more left.  Yes, it’s going to cost me a bit of money, but I can live with that. 🙂