In recent months I’ve been struggling to stay afloat. I have so many demands on my time and my being that I often feel like I am drowning under a sea of work and worries. Decisions have to be made, I don’t tend to get a full nights sleep because of the baby and I found myself feeling anxious and unable to stop worrying about things. When I say worrying about things, I mean really worrying. Have you ever found yourself in a position where you simply cannot stop thinking about something and all the possible implications of it? You go round and round and you cant seem to resolve anything. I literally made myself sick with worry. I couldn’t focus on anything properly and found it very hard to write any of my thoughts down in this blog, some for personal reasons others because I was so tired I simply couldn’t think straight.
Then I rediscovered reading. Not reading stuff on line, blogs and the like. These can draw you down into the desperate pit of comparing your lives with others. Envy at what others have, do and can craft or alternatively worry that peoples lives are not what they should be, worry about their struggles and so forth. I have to admit I have pretty much all but stopped reading blogs altogether, save for a few of my friends and a few political or American craft blogs.
Instead I have rediscovered the joy of a good book, the joy of discovery of new knowledge, of life changing information and simply of being transported to another place. Where I once sat worrying, I now grab something to read. I’ve started reading a newspaper on line. We stopped getting a paper version as we couldn’t afford it and I used to rely on viewing BBC News and the Andrew Marr Show to discover what was happening in the world. I missed reading political commentary, it’s been wonderful to read differing viewpoints on what is happening in the world. I feel slowly as if I am returning to myself, rediscovering who I used to be. The little girl who would read all night and all day given the chance.
Now I have rediscovered a thirst for reading I find that I cannot stop, like a caffeine addict I literally crave a moment to sit down and read something. Fortunately for me 3 of the 4 children who frequent the house also love books so we have had some mammoth afternoon reading sessions. There is something lovely about sharing a book with a child and I recently noticed that our local library sell off older kids books for 10p each! 10p! Every week we come home staggering under the weight of books to keep us going throughout the week. Penguin by Polly Dunbar, Arthurian Legends, The Cat in the Hat, Blue Kangaroo, Ella Bella, Chimp and Zee and many others.
As for me, I’ve been lucky enough to belong to a book club for a couple of months which has provided me with some lovely suggestions; Faery Tale by Signe Pike, Rites by Sophie Coulombeau and at the moment, The Casual Vacancy by J K Rowling. I’ve also read The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year, Phillip Pullmans Grimm Fairy Tales and a huge quantity of books about Home Education. Coupled with this there has been The Folklore of Hertfordshire and various related articles, a book about quilting and many many more. It’s been wonderful and now I cant stop. Waterstones has become my favourite shop, the husband breaks out in a cold sweat every time I go into town. I can’t help myself in there, there are so many things I want to buy. As for Amazon, well, I’m surprised he hasn’t blocked it from our Internet as its far, far too dangerous.
The other day the hubby was sent a new Barnes and Noble Nook. It’s a thing of beauty and wonder and the solution to my problems, you see I have a space issue with all these books. We really have turned one of the rooms in our house into a library, but it’s full. The Nook, like the Kindle means you can have all the books forever, but without the space. True, with some books its great to feel the pages and flick through lapping up the smell and the random facts, but for others such as novels you don’t need this.
Novels are also the sort of thing you traditionally read under the covers, in the dark. Or on the train. They get crumpled and scrunched but it doesn’t matter, you have to balance one of those little lights on them if you read in bed after your husband has gone to sleep. It’s a pain. The Nook is the answer to this. It’s a dream like gadget for the bibliophile. I can’t tell you how much I REALLY want one. I mean really, at this moment I’d be tempted to sell my soul so I can read in bed under the covers like I did when I was six. We’ve been squabbling over it, he loves it, I love it, this never happens with gadgets. But the thing is just so damn perfect for me, the 7 inch version is made for me, I can hold it one handed, I can read it in the dark. I can take it with me, maybe I could hang it on a necklace. A sort of fashion trend for the glasses wearing bibliophile. I mean the Beastie Boys did something similar didn’t they?
What do I fancy reading next? Well, so many many things. I think I’m going to read Edna O’Briens autobiography, A History of the World in 100 Objects, Ethel and Earnest by Raymond Briggs and that’s just this week…