Every spare second when I’m not running around after the kids, supporting Archie with one thing or another, playing house, etc, etc, … I can be found with my head in a book. It’s like my life-blood and I just can’t get enough, (although a few minutes out here and there to tidy my book shelves would be well-advised).
Fortunately for me, my parents were avid readers when I was little and always encouraged me to read. Nowadays I frequently read books and review them, often on www.goodreads.com and www.mumsnet.com and regularly for publishing houses and for ‘bookish’ publications like Booktime magazine. I used to have a select taste where books were concerned, but nowadays I’m happy to read any genre. Don’t get me wrong – there are some brilliant books, that I devour at a rate of knots and leave a lasting impression on me, and those that quite frankly I reel at and have to drag myself from page to page. An author once told me that if you get to page 46 of a book and you’re struggling – maybe it’s time to pack it in. With a favourite number (let’s not go there) of 64 I like to extend the longevity slightly … and to be honest it’s rare that I give up completely on something. Those that I find truly awful – I can always draw something from; a ‘turn of phrase’ a grammatical stance … or simply a kick up the rear to continue writing my ‘novel-in-the-making’ with the view that if ‘they’ can get published then so can I!
Reading is a writer’s double-edged sword. I glean such a lot from other talented writers, but then shouldn’t I just be writing myself?
What I really need is a ‘book nook’ a little hole where I can read or write to my heart’s content … somewhere like this would be just lovely. When my novel is published, and I’m a £millionaire authoress that will be my ultimate aim (obviously then I’ll have a cleaner and a nanny for my children too, not to mention the soft top convertible and the cocktail waiter!)!
I love nothing more than passing on a good book – sharing it with someone who I believe will also learn from it’s pages, revel in it’s beauty or simply needs a hefty dose of escapism. If it’s a really, REALLY good book – I ask for it to be returned, but if it’s something I’ve enjoyed, and am willing to relinquish, I encourage the recipient to read it and pass it on for another reader’s delight. As spring warms into summer and it’s more acceptable to sit outside and indulge myself – I’ll be making more and more excuses to skip the chores and will be upping my game in the reading (and hopefully writing) stakes.
I became involved in World Book Night a few years ago now – when I stumbled across a reference to the event in the local library. They were looking for givers/readers people who were prepared to share their love of literature with those perhaps less open to the notion. I was thrilled to receive my first small consignment of books, took pride in neatly writing my moniker on the page indicated (re source of origin) and was thrilled to read to a young group of Mums that I was involved with at the time. They were hard-pushed to find time for anything (a brew was never hot and a bladder was always fit to bursting before it was emptied), so the concept of taking a little ‘me time’ and sitting with a book for even the briefest of periods was alien to them. However, I assured them that the world wouldn’t stop turning and that in fact, as I do, just a few minutes (whilst babe is sleeping), the odd page of reading interspersed throughout the day can often give some much needed light relief.
For World Book Night 2015 I was chuffed to be designated a more substantial consignment – enough to distribute to every child within my eldest son’s school, Penny Field School (NWSilc), a school where every parent, every carer has every excuse not to ‘waste’ time reading.
Every child is special, but our wards are very ‘special’ children in that they require 24/7 care. The majority of pupils at Penny Fields have complex medical needs, development and mobility problems – making their care all the more ‘intense.’ I spoke to the staff there and asked if I could put a book in each child’s school bag for their parents/carers to enjoy during their ‘down time.’ and my actions were welcomed.
I’ve already had a wonderful response from parents who were thrilled at having a lovely surprise in their child’s bag (something other than a change of clothes that are soiled or notification of a medical hiatus are always a blessing).
I had a handful of books left over that I have already distributed to two of the lovely part time support staff the driver and chaperone of my son’s school bus, and have earmarked the remainder for friends who I know will equally benefit from this literary gift.
Thank you World Book Night – for making yesterday special for so very many people, for highlighting the importance of reading and sharing and for ensuring that the literary world keeps turning.