Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Books, books and more books

Instead of literally watching paint dry today, in between coats I've been trying to keep busy as the rain poured down outside. It's been dark and dreary, so the radio has been on, and the now whiter walls in my workroom are helping to lift my spirits!

My mind turned to my book collection earlier, as I looked at all the 'things' I've got piled up in various other parts of the house: boxes of girly stuff - makeup, toiletries, handbags, jewellery; music, including stacks of CDs and songbooks; and, of course, my books. My collection may not be particularly scholarly, intellectually stimulating or a huge investment, but it is nothing if not sentimental, personal and familiar.

I love to read. Ever since I was a little girl sitting in the garden at home reading and pretending I was a princess (even wearing one of my mum's long skirts), or writing very neatly in my precious hardback notebook, I have cherished the delights of being completely immersed in an all-consuming story. I am one of those people who re-reads with a vengeance; I have my favourites, which I revisit, and my shelves will house more than a couple of what would be termed as 'children's stories'. I am not ashamed of this; in fact, I love children's stories, and still find magic, no matter how many times I read them. 'The Little White Horse', 'Stardust', the Harry Potter series and 'Goodnight Mister Tom' all have their place, as do 'Great Expectations', 'Wuthering Heights' and Jane Austen's 'Emma'. They sit side by side, and have been chosen not for literary merit but for sheer enjoyment. I love them all. 

One of the dreams of my life is to write a really good story; one that will survive, and will be loved. It is a very difficult, challenging and fabulous thing to try and do, as the ups and downs are perilous, and the time zapped by daydreaming, planning and ultimately writing is dizzying, but it a real and joyous experience. I feel for my characters, and hope to do them all justice. Fingers crossed that one day, the final full stop will hit the page, and I will achieve that elusive exhilaration brought by actually finishing my book..

Check out this great article about weird and wonderful bookshops that I found today.

What is your favourite story? I'd love to know.

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