When I had reached the age when you devour books, there was no stopping my reading. The best thing I knew, was to take my bicycle and head to the library. It did not matter that I had to pass houses where the bullies lived and bike over the little square, which had the entrance to the library on one side of it, where the bullies always hung out, never being home doing homework. I had my escape routes. I would cycle twice the distance on those, to avoid as many people as possible. Just to reach my goal. The lovely library with shelves of treasures. I would stock up on ten-fifteen books at a time. And of course I had no problems finishing them. The summers were the best, since it meant read, read, read every day.
All my pocket-money also went to books. My mum hated it. And she was so upset when I would send money with her to town, to buy me a really thick “Nancy Drew” book and me finishing it in one or two hours. I can easily say that I have been a book-lover from the time I learned to read. I love to hold a book in my hands, I love the anticipation one has when opening the book for the first time, wondering what it will really offer. What sort of adventure will it take you on? And there is nothing worse than reading the final lines, putting the book down and feeling “what now”? The emptiness which settles in, before starting a new book, is mighty depressing.
When I got up to middle school, there was a specific highlight of the week. Friday day was assigned to us, to every class, to head to the school library. We would walk off class after class, instructed that we were only allowed to borrow one book each. There was always fierce competition for the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis. So, to this day, I have not read the books, because I do not fight over books! (I have actually read the first two books aloud to my children, but they never caught on to the magic and all the Christian symbolism bearing testimony of Lewis’ faith.) I could find plenty to read in that room and was not going to walk home disappointed with not getting one of the Narnia books. Later on my classmates moved on to books about teenage romance and so on, which was not a pattern I chose to follow either.
No, I was happy with other books and after making my selection, I would head back to the classroom and eagerly await the end of the school day. I would head home, crawl up in an armchair and READ. Till the book was finished! Usually by the time my mum got home from work. And then I had a long weekend in front of me, without a book. SAD!
For some reason, in the last year, I have started to follow my old pattern. To start reading a book on Friday afternoons. It is the highlight of my week actually. When I arrive home with “Boo” and “Gubby”, knowing that I do not have to go out again that day. That the week is finally over and I will have two days to rest and relax, if you count going to church as relaxation. Not really in my case, but it does mean not having to drive back and forth like a taxi driver not being allowed to come late to fetch or drop off a child.
No, it has become my routine, when I get home with the boys, at around 14:30, to take my jeans off, put on leggings, thick wool socks, grab the book I feel for reading at that point in my life, cuddle up in my torn armchair with my Union Jack blanket wrapped around me, and just read. The boys having the TV on in the background. If the book is good, I will not watch TV at all that evening but just proceed with my book. Many books are finished that same night or in the early morning hours. Others take longer of course. So, the blog posts get written on a somewhat uneven basis, depending on how long it took to read the book, how long it took to digest what I just read, and how much I really want to say about it. I have been working on a post about Pétain for a month now. Filling in all the gaps the book left out, still trying to come to terms with what I read in that book, which was an eye-opener all right.
So to all who read my Friday Book discussions, do not loose patience, if they do not come regularly. And may you have as fun reading them, as I have writing them. And one more thing: Why not try a Friday book yourself? Fridays are excellent days to start a book, the best as a matter of fact! Who cares about TV? Nothing can compete with a good book!