Ep 99; Lending or Loaning Books & Reading Outside Your Comfort Zone

Welcome to the latest episode of The Readers. This fortnight Simon and Thomas discuss lending or loaning books to other people, reading outside their comfort zones and Jenn Ashworth comes up a lot!

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Catching Up () Simon and Thomas have had a catch up on all the things that have been going on lately. Episode 100 is coming so they would like your thoughts on what they should do with Gavin, who is returning especially. Thomas has been sorting out Simon’s trip to America in the autumn between watching the Forsythe Saga and now wants to read it. Plus other bits and bobs.

Lending or Loaning Books () Thomas and Simon take up two subjects that you lovely listeners have sent in. The first is from Elizabeth who wants to know is Simon or Thomas lend books to other people. As it turns out the simple answer is ‘no’, however they do talk about why it isn’t that they don’t lend anything and it turns out one of them is a huge hypocrite, guess who?


Reading Outside Your Comfort Zone () Nicely following on from discussing how we find books under the popular radar, one of our lovely listeners Whitney wanted to know if people feel they get stuck in a comfort zone with reading or if they purposefully keep reading out of it. Simon and Thomas have a discussion about what their comfort zones are and how they try and combat them…

Next time on the Readers () Thomas and Simon will be back in two weeks with Gavin to celebrate 100 episodes of the Readers and all that book based banter. Before then Simon will be back next Tuesday with You Wrote The Book! with Emma Jane Unsworth to discuss her new novel ‘Animals.’ Until next time thanks again for listening…

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5 thoughts on “Ep 99; Lending or Loaning Books & Reading Outside Your Comfort Zone

  1. I never lend books but I do give them away quite a lot. If it’s a book I’ve read and really loved I’m generally happy to pass it on and not get it back (as I assume I can always get another copy) or buy them a copy (as Simon suggested). What’s more of a dilemma is whether I’ll let my partner read a book because he almost always breaks the spine, scuffs the pages, spills coffee over it, etc. Once I had a special proof of a book that the author had signed to me and he asked to read it. I made him promise me he’d take care of it but he ended up accidentally dropping it down onto the tube train tracks. So now I have trust issues.

    I know Simon didn’t get on with this book when he tried reading it, but a good read for Thomas that would take him out of his comfort zone is Chad Harbach’s “The Art of Fielding” which came out a couple of years ago. It’s about baseball, but also about college life and the messy lives of a few characters in particular. It reminds me a bit of Mary McCarthy’s writing except more about men although it does have a strong female character as well. It’s a really sensitive portrayal about ambition and men’s relationship to their bodies.

    • Oh god, you had to go for a baseball book. I like watching baseball–especially Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals in all his bearded hunkiness–but I really hate reading about it. Although there was one years ago I liked called the Dreyfuss Affair by Peter Lefcourt which was a gay baseball novel. Maybe my library has the Harbach book. I did ask for it didn’t I?

      • There is a gay baseball player in this novel as well – although he’s not the central character.
        I know, I was skeptical at first too when I saw it’s about baseball, but it’s excellent.

    • They tend to feature older ladies who live in cottages, go to church jumble sales, and drink lots of tea. Mrs Buncle’s Book by DE Stevenson is a good example. Something with a little more complexity would be the novels of Barbara Pym. On the bleaker side would be Anita Brookner. Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple books would be good if you want a mystery. May Sarton’s The Magnificent Spinster is a great American option.

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