When I was visiting the hairdressers the other day (no, contrary to appearances I don’t cut it myself with blunt Felcos) a conversation ensued about reading.  It went something like this:

Other customer to her stylist (she was having sun-kissed highlights so in for the long haul):  “No I don’t need a magazine thank you, I have bought a book with me” then looking over in our direction “have you read this one? its a real page turner”.

My hairdresser: “I don’t read books”

Me: “What?  You don’t read books, you heathen, desist from hacking at my hair this very moment, get straight to the library and mend your wicked ways!”.

Of course I am not really that judgemental, but I did suggest that she might give it a go, she might even enjoy it.  Personally I have had gleaned so much pleasure from books that I am always ready to champion their value.

I have always enjoyed reading, since an early age I have been an addict.  I would diligently read to my, less than keen, younger brother.  Whether he liked it or not.  Mostly not.  I have rarely faltered.  I have read and read and read.  Classics, contemporaries, experimental, poetry, fact, fiction, fictional fact, concise, verbose, funny, tragic.  On only two occasions has there been a gap.  Once, whilst travelling in Europe, when all our possessions were carried on our backs, our books were soon read and left for others to find.  When we reached our oasis, the magical hamlet Brugaroilles, we read the book shelves from left to right.  Alistair McLean, Daphne du Maurier, Christopher Lloyd and John Irvine, a few of the authors we systematically swept through.  There was also a short period when I found it impossible to read.  It was when I had just began writing myself and found reading established, published authors, disconcerting, the urge to compare irresistible and daunting.  I soon recovered from this small vanity.

This hunger hasn’t waned.  Scattered around the house there are those in waiting.  Piles of assorted books, their contents hidden for the moment.  When I am chastised I try to explain that to me they are like a box of chocolates.  When the current book is finished I relish the joyful decision as to which should be sampled next.

However, unless I am travelling, I rarely read except at the end of the day in bed.  This has become an unswerving routine.  I have to be very tired to miss it, even just two pages, even if I have to re-read them the next day, it is essential.

Today was different.  With chore list abandoned, I sat silent, unhindered or disturbed, and read one hundred pages of Cider House Rules.  It was bliss.

21 thoughts on “Bliss

  1. Another bibliophile here. We don’t have a telly, so books and competitive crosswords are how we spend our evenings. Thank you for the recommendation, I have put it on my kindle. I loved A Prayer for Owen Meany so I am sure I shall enjoy this too.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A Prayer for Owen Meany was one of my favourite all times. Loving this but not as good as OM. My favourite book last year was Niall Williams – History of Rain, wonderful prose, funny and weird, amazing.


      1. I used to feel I had to keep reading, but lately I’ve started tossing books aside if they don’t reel me in within the first 25 pages or so. On to the next one! I do feel sad when I come to the end of a really enjoyable book, though.


  2. oh yes – books books books and cutting hair with the Felcos (if only in emergencies) – you have your priorities clearly right. I make it a principle to not abandon (fiction) books once started but there are one or two that have failed even my stringent rules.


  3. I have been writing my weekly gardening column since 1998, but I do not even read much of the newspaper. I really dislike reading. I do not know why. I read articles that I find to be interesting, but I do not have the patience for books.


  4. Lovely post. I’ve been reading books for as long as I can remember, thanks to my mum who was an avid reader. I’ve always got several on the go at any one time, and will sometimes loose the best part of a day especially at this time of year.
    Happy reading! xx


  5. Another book person, recently I had a spell of creepy murder mysteries and stopped in the middle of one. Couldn’t take anymore creepy.I read in bed as well. Sometimes longer than two pages, sometimes not. I need to find the smoking Leonitis thing for you. On it.


  6. My daughters have just got into audio books. I turned my nose up at them at first, but I can see that they are busy and this is their way of keeping a connection with books. I must admit, it’s quite soothing standing in the potting shed listening to a good book. Sometimes I find myself holding a plant pot aloft- stationary like a statue- waiting for the cliffhanger. I hope for the sake of my elbows, it is not too long to wait!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A friend listens to audio books when gardening, my only problem with them is you cannot share or send into the charity shops when you have finished them. The CS are regularly visited, for books, where ever we are.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Same here; I’ve read a disturbing statistic about how many people didn’t read a book in the last two years. I cannot remember the percentage, because as I said it was too disturbing and scary for me…

    Liked by 1 person

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