Failing eyesight and brain damage have slowly been dismantling my ability to concentrate on reading novels, which is part of the reason why the bulk of reading these days is comic books (as the format simply makes them easier to digest).
Because I find it difficult to concentrate for long on a line of text, and find my focus wandering to different lines, the comic book format or short, pithy, speech bubbles and tight text boxes is much easier for me to follow these days.
For the past couple of years, when I've come across a novel I want to read, I've turned to unabridged audiobooks - to inject them straight into my noggin.
Even Philip Reeve's amazing Railhead novels (past the first volume) were digested in audio format, although - much like Mark Frost's two chunky Twin Peaks books that came out recently - I did kind of follow along, in fits and starts, on the printed page, so I could see how far along I was, understand the spelling of strange words etc
But then I started reading Marvel's new Conan comic book titles and I found myself compelled to read the backup text pieces, three-pages of 'bonus' material in each issue, mini-chapters of a larger original novella.
And it was Scott Oden's Spirit Of Vengeance in Savage Sword Of Conan that ultimately persuaded me - especially now we are in our new home and so it's a good excuse to make some life changes - to think about trying to pick up a novel again.
I'll admit there were a couple of false starts, but I've finally sunk my teeth into Michael Moorcock's Elric At The End Of Time. Which turned out to be a collection of short stories, but it still counts.
Part of the reason was because of my Moorcock Rule, but also, of the original run of Elric books, this is the only one, for some reason, I never actually read.
I hadn't even realised - despite the clue being in the title - that was actually a crossover with Moorcock's End Of Time series of books.
My plan now, once I'm done with Elric At The End Of Time is to actually read The End Of Time series - which I have in my 'Moorcock collection', before returning to the Elric stories and seeing which of the newer adventures I also already own.
|My Michael Moorcock shelfie|