I have a bit of news. I have a book coming out in September. Actually, it’s a new edition of my first book, Reading the World – seven years after the original UK hardback and ten years since my 2012 quest.
In that time, this blog and has changed from a quirky, yearlong project to a lifelong endeavour – one that strangers still contact me about almost every day. It has had some extraordinary highs (from my delivering my TED and TEDx talks, speaking on BBC Radio 4 and meeting my hero Tété-Michel Kpomassie over Zoom to taking up the role of Literary Explorer in Residence at the UK’s Cheltenham Literature Festival).
But it has also been challenging and I have had to work hard to keep it sustainable and worthwhile alongside my other work and writing projects. One of the ways I have tried to do this is by continually developing my reading and reviewing practice, most recently launching the first of what I hope will eventually be a series of workshops for curious readers (more information here).
The fact that I have kept going is largely down to you and the thousands of intrepid readers around the world like you who contact me about books. Your enthusiasm, and the wonderful recommendations and information you send, continue to inspire and intrigue me, and keep me excited about the extraordinary power of stories to connect us across all sorts of divides. Thank you.
It’s been great to have a chance to reflect on all this – and on how storytelling and our world have changed in the past ten years – in a new foreword. I’ve also enjoyed catching up with some of the writers and translators I featured in the original edition and adding to their stories, as well as updating a lot of the facts and figures in the original manuscript. And I rather like the new subtitle – How I Read a Book from Every Country – too. I hope this edition will be of interest to anyone who loves reading widely and wants to understand more about how stories travel, and how they shape us.
Preorders make a massive difference to a book’s success, so if you don’t have a copy, would like another, know someone who might enjoy it, or simply need a doorstop, please do place an order. Your support will mean a lot and will help me keep this blog free for people everywhere keen to explore the world’s books. Thanks so much.
Yay, so pleased to hear there will be an updated new edition to this book! I am so glad I got to hear about this project and got to meet you – and so pleased it has become a lifelong quest for you.
The feeling’s mutual. Thanks so much for all your support and inspiration over the years!
And my vocabulary is clearly not capable of thinking of any other word than ‘pleased’ – apologies, not had enough coffee yet!
Please works for me!
How wonderful. Thanks to your first book, I could add many more countries to my list, See here on my review of your Reading the World book. Really looking forward to it.
How lovely. Thanks so much for this thoughtful and generous review, Marianne. I hope you are still enjoying your international literary adventures.
Thanks, Ann. I guess I always will, especially during these times where travelling is not that easy. And since I get older, travelling through books will become more and more enticing. I hope to be able to have “visited” every single country one day and I know your list will help me with it.
Reblogged this on Wadadli Pen.