A Few Words on #RoundReads

Tomorrow – Wednesday 18th January8:30pm GMT – will see the launch of the Roundtable Readers Twitter chat (#RoundReads): an opportunity for bibliophiles to fill their boots and bookshelves (with ideas).


As an unabashed book addict, I am more than rather excited. Whilst this will doubtless be discussed in the conversation, I wanted to briefly share a few words about my love of books, and what I hope may come from the chat.


Very simply, I love the endless possibilities and opportunities books offer us. Granted, although certain topics may be – on some level – intellectually/academically impenetrable (and I have struggled through my fair share of such books), we do nonetheless have the opportunity to read and learn about anything we want, in as little or much depth as we might wish.

We glean a particular – perhaps, perculiar – perspective about someone, judging by what books with which they chose to adorn their bookshelves. (How many of you are thinking now of that John Waters quote?) Indeed, we can through books essentially mould ourselves into whatever we want – or at least develop our mind in whatever way we want. And it is the limitless choice of texts that allows us to do so.

For example, as I write, I have three books sat on the desk beside me. These are: The Torrents of Spring by, and The Complete Short Stories of, Ernest Hemingway; and Seeds of Fiction: Graham Greene’s Adventures in Haiti and Central America 1954-1983, by Bernard Diederich. Why these three books? I am presently reading a biography of Ernest Hemingway (Ernest Hemingway: A Literary Life), which I am punctuating with each of Hemingway’s works, as and when it comes around in the narrative that is his life. On the third: I quite enjoy Graham Greene’s writing, and am very much interested in Latin America and the Caribbean. (I loved Our Man in Havana.) Bernard Diederich’s Seeds of Fiction is, therefore, a perfectly-suited read, and I look forward to it greatly.

This third title is perhaps the best piece of evidence to support my belief that
with books we can feed whatever artistic appetites and intellectual curiosities we may harbour. And this is something I think, and care, about a lot.


I hope for #RoundReads to provide a space for people who are as in love with books as I – I suspect, clearly – am, to revel, delight and indulge in their passion. To me, books are surely something to celebrate. Why not celebrate them together?

Roundtable Readers (#RoundReads) launches tomorrow, Wednesday 18th January @ 8:30pm GMT

See you there!!!


Read an addendum to these words – featuring Barack Obama! – here.

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