At home, my Mum has what we call the library room. It is possibly one of my favourite places on earth. There are rows and rows of the books she’s read, and there’s so many she’s collected over the years that they line the shelves in her study now, too! Growing up, I soon discovered I shared her love of books. I read everything and anything, finding myself with a particular soft spot for the Jacqueline Wilson books and later on, eagerly waiting at the post box when the new Harry Potter books were due out for delivery…
When my mental health issues struck, there was literally, seemingly, nothing I could do to escape my own head. I have a very vivid memory of being sat on the sofa, having arbitrarily re-picked up the Goblet of Fire which I probably hadn’t read for at least ten years. I finally was momentarily distracted from everything whirring round in my head, and lost in a different world.
These were the only books I could concentrate on for some bizarre reason. Then, out of nowhere, my ‘ability’ to concentrate on reading, or at the task at hand, disappeared. I just couldn’t concentrate. I started book after book – most of which would have usually sucked me in and seen me mining every spare moment to squeeze in a chapter, staying up late at night to finish whatever mystery I was deep in to. In the end, I could barely get to the end of chapter one of anything, so I just sort of… gave up.
Eventually, I accepted that reading wouldn’t be the type of escapism I could look to any more. As I started to read more blogs, I read a lot of book reviews and found myself missing the chance to read. I joined the Blogger Book Nook run by the lovely Abbey and Tabitha. It’s a closed Facebook Group (but any one can join!) and I decided to ‘lurk’ in the group to see what people were posting and follow along. As the recommendations poured in I decided to try again.
Not masses of reading ability flooded my way. I tried one or two but couldn’t get into them (I’m still struggling through The Power!). I enjoyed the Blogger Book Nook wholeheartedly and loved reading everyone’s reviews. Then recently, one of my girlfriends came to visit and left The Magpies by Mark Edwards. I was HOOKED. For the first time in ages, I found myself sucked into a whirlwind in a different world.
Then, a few days later when my birthday rolled round, my Mum had obviously had one of her psychic Mum moments and brought me a kindle for my birthday – as well as the beautiful illustrated Harry Potter books. Mum has been a kindle advocate since she bought hers – I think at the request of my Dad, who was up to his eyeballs in books!
I’m so glad my Mum and I share a love of books , and I’m so, so happy that I’ve really gotten back into reading again. The reading prompt for The Blogger Book Nook this month is Book Swaps. The Lovely Hels recommended ‘I Am Pilgrim’ for me to download, and I started it (in daylight!). I think I’ll have to try hard quite this one – its a bit out of my comfort zone, but I can’t wait to finish it and chat with Hels about it.
I’ll treasure the beautiful illustrated copies of Harry Potter forever – I can’t wait to read them to my children in years to come.
Meanwhile I can’t recommend the Kindle enough! Its simple to use and whilst yes, I do miss the feel of a ‘proper’ book, I love how easy the kindle makes it for me to take a whole library of books with me wherever I go!
As you can probably tell – I’m looking to really compensate for all my lost reading time! What are your favourite books? Please do share your recommendations with me!