Thursday, 28 November 2013

A Devourer Of Books

I always carry a book. It's doing absolutely nothing for my back, but certainly helps to kill the time between work and korfball, or when I'm on a train or (more rarely) bus. I always have to have something to read with me, or otherwise I sit in coffee shops, looking around, trying to people watch surreptitiously and failing miserably. That, and I quite want to be approached and asked about the book I'm reading- which is one of many reasons why I have Date A Girl Who Reads bookmarked. (As an aside, I remember reading that when Meg first posted it. Could I really have been reading her blog for two years?)

From here
I devour books. And not just books, actually- I'm a devourer of any written word. I'm constantly saying "Oh I read something about that somewhere..." then struggling to remember where I picked up that particular piece of useless knowledge.

I also re-read an awful lot though. A few weeks ago, I was sitting in the office's little kitchen/ staff room, re-reading The Time Traveler's Wife for what felt like the hundredth time, when a colleague came in and asked what I was reading. When I told him I was reading it for the thirtieth time, he said "There are hundreds of thousands of books in the world, and you choose to read the same one over and over? Baffling". Which is a good point, really, but then I could so easily spend all of my disposable income on books and that probably isn't sensible. I went into Waterstones in Cardiff and had to force myself out before I left with armfuls of the things- Bonjour TristesseFranny and Zooey, and A Dance with Dragons were all calling my name.

I remember reading something once (see?!) about an American woman who had to ration her reading time on her extraordinarily long commute, which I think it was something like six hours a day. (And I thought mine was bad) She read books slowly, and re-read them over and over, so she wasn't spending all of her disposable income on books. Isn't that kind of sad, in a funny way? Having to force yourself to read more slowly?

I don't discriminate with books because of what I "should" like. I happily read Jane Austen, couldn't bear Catch-22, am currently reading The Northern Lights again, and read Doctor Zhivago in two days. I just like words, to be honest.

From here
And the most unattractive thing to me is someone who says "Oh, I don't read". I just can't comprehend it- even my brothers don't read, and I hate that. I'm trying to encourage my little sister to become a reader by buying her books for Christmas and birthdays, but to be honest, I  think she liked the roller skates better this year.

But anyway. I love books. I would be lost without them. Do you have any you'd particularly recommend?


  1. I agree with so you much Alice. I could happily send all of my money on books and i find it really sad if you have to force yourself to read them more slowly. I'm currently going through a faze of reading every book i own before i buy any more and i find it the hardest thing! I see pretty books and that new book smell catches in my nose and i just have to have them! I love words. Reading them, writing them, taking them in. I think books are magical and sometimes the most comforting thing is re-reading a book like an old friend you have missed. :) xx

  2. This sounds familiar! I spent a few years disconnected from reading, unfortunately, mainly because of too much school work but I always read all kinds of magazines and my cousin used to tell that I knew the most random facts, haha! I'm getting back to this great habit now though, and I feel great about it :)

    As for recommendations, I loved 'The Art of Fielding'!

    Mariana xx

  3. I love reading so much and spend most of my money (after horrible, expensive train tickets) on buying books. I will happily sacrifice a coffee out for a new book picked up in a charity shop. That's where I get most of them. The other day I left a charity shop with 8 books in my arms and I literally can't wait to get through them all. I am reading The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling at the moment and it's not too bad so far. One thing I need to remember to do is set aside time for reading and not get interrupted or distracted by anything else. My phone and iPad, for example, need to stay right away. xxxxx
    PS. I don't think you can read The Time Traveler's Wife enough times
    PPS. Words are awesome.

  4. I am so with you on this - I seriosuly don't understand people who don't read! x

  5. I have a similar problem to Mariana's comment, above! I read everything and anything but university and reading long cases for law kind of got in the way of reading for pleasure!! I like to get back to it whenever I have the time, and my journey's to and from the UK are usually my perfect opportunity. This weekend I have a three hour train journey each way to Germany so am definitely looking for something good to download on my kindle (yes - living abroad has made me cross over to the dark side!!)

    Any recommendations?

    Keep in touch!
    Andrea xxx

  6. Such a lovely post! I'm a massive reader and I'm always having to force myself out of bookshops, I've always read since I was little it makes such a brilliant escape and your right there isn't anything more than people who say they don't read!

    Hallie xx

  7. I can completely relate to the 'removing yourself from a bookshop' feeling -- have done that one too many times! I swear all companies should give their employees a 'book allowance' in pursuit of widening their minds. I once heard a company actually did this...amazing, right?!

  8. People who say they don't read are the worst, especially the ones who seem to be proud of it! A, you are wonderful and I live the way you write xxx

  9. Love reading, always have! I was the kid sitting in a corner with a book in the playground! I want to read the Game of Thrones books now after starting to watch the series :) and Northern Lights are amazing! Can't wait to go home for Christmas to my books :') I love crime or thriller books that are gruesome and really scare me! Peter James is one of my favourite authors, his books are so chilling and real xx

  10. Did a lot of nodding at this post - except for at the bit where you left the book shop without Bonjour Tristesse as it is excellent! I tend to always carry a book around me too, mainly because I really dislike those moments when I'm sat at lunch or waiting in my car and I don't have something to read, always feels like a waste of time when I couldn't be getting through my current read! :)

    Rosie | A Rosie Outlook

  11. I love reading, and I have a slowly growing collection of old books (my favourite being a second edition of 'The Jungle Book') was heartbreaking having to leave them all at home to go abroad to study, but my iPad is keeping me sane with all the classics downloaded onto it. Slowly working my way through Les Miserables - I will finish it! xx

  12. I'm completely with you, I love reading, although admittedly I only read books lately on my commutes to work, although I read online but they're in forms of blogs so really I read all the time :) hehe


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