I’ve been a bookworm ever since I learnt to read. My mother was a very cold woman who was deeply unhappy with the state of motherhood – the fact she produced 4 children despite this, is to do with her devout Catholicism. Thanks to her, I got a first-hand look at the hypocrisy of religion from a very young age. It gave me an interest in the subject, and my subsequent research did little to convince me that religion is anything more than a scam cooked up by the very first elite to keep the masses under control. The amount of blood shed over the centuries in the name of religion is simply staggering.
But, anyway, I digress – I didn’t mean to get all Richard Dawkins on you, because my point was about books and how they gave me an escape from the cold house that was my home. I think that even if I had a happy childhood, I would have been drawn to books anyway. It’s all those beautiful words and what they can do to (and for) your mind and heart. Libraries were an actual heaven for me as a child because my parents didn’t have books, apart from the trashy sentimental novels that my mother read. I was that kid who sat in the corner for hours, happy as can be – until closing time when I would carry my carefully chosen books to the library counter so I could take them home. My library card had to be renewed often as it was “stamped” on an almost daily basis – so often in fact, that the library assistants actually asked me whether I really read everything I took out. “Yes, yes I do, why would I take books out and not read them”?! was my reply. That question was just absurd to me.
I will forever remember libraries with fondness but of course these days I hardly ever set foot in them. Now I can buy books you see and oh, the beauty of being able to do that! It’s not libraries I haunt these days, but bookshops! My house is crammed with books, I’ve ran out of space on my (many) bookshelves so I’ve taken to storing them wherever I can – even in some odd places sometimes. There are even books piling up on top of the piano! Thank fuck for eBooks, even though (like many bookworms) I think that nothing replaces the actual feel and smell of a book.
Still, how amazing is it to have hundreds of books stored on one device? I was bought an e-reader as a birthday present at a time when they were totally new gadgets. It was made by Sony, bright pink and cost £200 which was a lot of money when you think that you can pick up a Kindle quite cheaply these days.
Now the Sony e-reader is sadly too small even though it was high tech at the time, so I read eBooks on my iPad which is great – but I always have a pile of books on the floor by my bed. That pile consists of favourites which have been read dozens of times and they are by my bed because they are like much loved and treasured friends to me – so I keep them close 🙂
I always carry a book in my handbag for train journeys and those spare 15 minutes you might have at any given point when out and about. I don’t lend books anymore because of the lack of respect friends have shown to them in the past. People have dropped my books in the bath and giving them back to me completely ruined – and even, and that’s the ultimate sin, not given them back at all!
So now I’m a selfish literature bitch and won’t lend anything to anyone. You want a book? Go and buy it! You might as well anyway – the struggling author will thank you for the few pennies you’ve put in his pocket.
Books: lovely, wonderful books – how dull my life would have been without them.
I have now done everything I needed to do today and I am not going out until later. It’s raining and miserable outside – I am going to go and snuggle in my favourite armchair with my iPad and spend the next hour blissfully getting lost in some imaginary world. Isn’t life grand?