Seamas O’Reilly: ‘Having long thought that I’d read Borstal Boy as a child, I picked it up recently to discover I never had’

The author on why the joy of reading is one of the first casualties of a publisher’s deadline

Seamas O’Reilly claimed to have read Brendan Behan’s Borstal Boy, among other great Irish novels, but others were less convinced

One thing they don’t tell you about writing a book is that your reading life really suffers. For one thing, you’re short on time, and spending all day every day pooling your thoughts into more or less readable mulch reduces your appetite for extra-curricular reading in ways that I hadn’t anticipated. I should have done since the few people I know who’ve written a book had warned me of the same thing. Joy in reading ...