Monday, 26 November 2012

Loving books and reading

I keep thinking about books. I am in a reading phase at the moment, and I've been lucky to pick some great books to dip into. Or rather devour.

I was overwhelmed with donations of second hand books for the Macmillan Coffee Morning in September. Overwhelmed in an incredibly grateful way, and overwhelmed in a physical way. It was impossible to display them all we had so many. I'm not sure how much money was raised just from the book stall but I'm guessing in the region of £150.

The left overs - a car load - were taken to the Willen Hospice warehouse for selling in their book shop. But not before I whisked a small box load away for my own rekindled (but not with a kindle) pastime of leisure reading.  

So, what I hear you cry (well, in my imagination I do), has been keeping me up at night? What are the page turners that distract me when I should be putting the washing away, vacuuming, clearing the pile of admin currently residing in a box in the kitchen?

At the moment, it is Jodi Picoult's My sister's keeper - an extraordinary story. I'm not used to book reviewing but to give you an idea of what it's about: it is a book that shows what can go wrong in a family when a child is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Not an every day situation though, as they engineer a baby, Anna, whose cord cells (from the placenta) at birth could provide the life saving, genetically matched cells needed to cure their elder daughter. But, when the leukaemia returns, Anna is called on again and again as a tissue donor. She serves a lawsuit against her parents for using her body without consent. The story is told from many perspectives and you feel for the family members going through the anguish and torment. Slightly annoying is the relationship between the attorney and the woman appointed by the judge to give an account of the family and Anna's maturity for decision-making. But overall, I would definitely recommend this book as an absorbing, thought-provoking family saga.

Also, on the recommended list: The Friday Night Knitting Club. When I first got going on this, I thought it was going to be saccharine sweet, American frivolity. But in no time I was caught up in the twists and turns, and when tragedy did strike (it was not all saccharine frivolity after all) I actually cried. Probably on the chick lit end of the spectrum for some masculine tastes, but clearly this is not a problem for me. I felt like I'd snuggled under a fleecy blanket with a hot chocolate and found it an easy reading page turner.

A different type of story again, was Grace Williams Says it Loud. Now this was not always comfortable reading, describing as it did some sickening scenes of abuse. But it was also a touching love story between two individuals institutionalised and written off by society, but finding fun and adventure with each other despite the hardships. Another thought-provoking read I was grateful to have stumbled across.

I haven't converted to a kindle yet. I really like books as they are. The touch, the feel, the covers. Before kids, when I had some disposable income to call my own, I loved going into Waterstones and picking up their 3 for 2 offers. New books piled high waiting to be dived into.

Occasionally I think I would like to have a bookshop - probably with a cafe inside - in a strong, local community. Oh yes. A bit like Stony Stratford! But I suspect the right time for this may never come. I couldn't dedicate myself to such a venture with the kids the age they are and by the time I'm ready I fear there may be no books left as digital takes over. In the meantime, I'll continue to enjoy these paperback novels. I may even write one myself one day!


1 comment:

  1. I loved 'The Friday Night Knitting Club' and cried too... I'd picked it up in the library thinking it would be a nice easy read. Not quite so easy in places and it kept me up late too!

    I've been reading a lot again in the last couple of years or so. This year I got an e-reader on my notebook so I could take more than one book with me when travelling. It is handy for that, but I still much prefer the feel of a book in my hand.

    I suspect that real books will never quite disappear. I can't ever see browsing online ever replacing the luxury of browsing round a good bookshop, with the smell of new print or secondhand books and even better the ones with a cafe in too.

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