I read much more these days. Reading, for me, is like closing the world in around me and just switching off. The day’s pressures can stay outside. Inside it’s all about the book.

My favourite books are fact-based. Biographies in the main. But occasionally I love to read a good novel.

Depending on my mood that can be anything from Hemingway to a children’s fantasy. Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast was a joy to read with a bottle of wine on a warm summer’s evening. Fantasy is very much something to enjoy inside on a cold winter’s evening.

I’m currently reading The Weirdstone of Brisingamen. It’s a story that I’m sure I encountered as a young boy, but may be mistaken. Either way it’s a real thrill ride and written in much the same vein as Enid Blyton’s innocent 1950’s style adventures. Perhaps with a little more darkness and dwarves!

When the mood is right there’s little more satisfying than reading. Even with a film I can find my mind wandering. I may be tempted to pick up the phone and take a quick look on the internet or social media. But with a book I’m consumed. I simply can’t multitask in that sense.

Downtime, that rare opportunity to do precisely nothing, has often been about researching for work using the internet or watching saved programmes via Sky+.

But I made the decision recently to read. If I can clear an hour from my day, mainly in the evening, I’ll read. I have this app on the AppleTV called Fireplace. Since I don’t have a fire it’s great to launch the app and have a simulated real fire glowing away in the background. It even makes the crackling sounds a real fire would make! Superb.

Even as I’m typing this I’m looking forward to putting my feet up, pouring a drink and relaxing by the ‘fire’.