Bill Bryson, whose science and travel books have sold millions of copies, has announced that he intends to retire from writing in favour of spending more time with his children and grandchildren. The 68-year-old said that he has been trying out the idea of retirement this year as an experiment, saying: “it has been successful and I’m pretty likely to continue”.
Bryson is perhaps best known for his travel book Notes from a Small Island, as well as A Short History of Nearly Everything and The Lost Continent and was awarded an honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2006, as well as the James Joyce Award in 2007.
As The Telegraph reports, in an interview with Times Radio set to be broadcast later today, he was concerned that he would have nothing to do if he put down his pen. That has not been the case. “The world is full of other things to do that are enjoyable without any of the pressures that come with you doing this as a job,” he said.
“There’s no twitching going on in me at all. I’ve decided to retire . . . for the first time in decades I’ve been reading for pleasure and finding I’m really enjoying it.”
With four children and ten grandchildren, Bryson certainly has plenty to keep him occupied. “You only get one life. That is pretty evident to all of us. I would quite like to spend the part that is left to me, which I hope is a significant part, but only a fraction, doing all the things I’ve not been able to do,” he said.
“Like enjoying my family – I have masses of grandchildren and I would love to spend more time with them just down on the floor.”