Nose in a book

When I’m not out running, I am likely to be found in my reading chair with my nose in a book. My nose quite literally in a book. It’s the privilege of the short sighted not to suffer the older person’s need for longer arms and reading glasses.

I have always been a reader. From an early age I would curl up in a corner with a book. Life was a gluttonous consumption of Enid Blyton, imagining myself into the worlds of St Clare’s or Malory Towers; Ballet Shoes (Petrova), Little Women (Jo), Jane Eyre; anything and everything. I joined the puffin club and devoured the quarterly Puffin Post, spending my pocket money on the books reviewed.  Then a period of busyness of life: reading to study rather than pure pleasure. Fiction became a luxury for the daily commute, the thrill of another chapter read compensating for any frustration of a delayed train.

As a lover of the printed page, it was a while before I succumbed to a Kindle. But I did. This was great for travelling, always another book lined up. But such a shame to finish a good read: Harold Fry and Queenie Hennessy, Eleanor Oliphant, The one hundred year old man, all such lovely travelling companions. Even the sadness of sharing a solitary carriage with the boy in the striped pyjamas. I would recount tales of books enjoyed, followed by ‘but I can’t lend it to you, it’s on my kindle’. The joy of sharing a good read was denied. I’ve returned to the tangible world of books now, mostly paperbacks. Sometimes second hand or library books but still a preference for the scent of a new book with an unbroken spine and no one else’s marking of pages or turning down of corners. The thrill of visiting the bookshop and making a choice has returned.  Visiting to buy a specific book, and being diverted by a recommendation. We do have an independent bookshop in town, 2 years old, famous through a viral tweet: @imaginedthings.  It’s a joy to visit. I’m planning to make it a habit. And I’m positively devouring this month’s recommendation of Louise Calendish’s Our House, which has turned out to be right up my street.

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