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02 February 2016 @ 09:24 pm
Stuff I Love - Books  
I can't ever remember a time when I didn't love reading, and books have been the one thing I really treasure. I'm a "keeper" - I find it hard to part with books even if I don't think I'll ever read it again.

I can remember getting my first library card, and the excitement of the fortnightly visit to the library. We had to wait until after tea then off we'd go with Dad; my sister and I in pyjamas after our baths so I must have been young - five maybe, or six - when we first started going. It was magic! All those books, and I could choose whatever I wanted. I'd take the maximum allowed and always have them finished by the weekend.

The smell of the place has stayed with me all these years, a scent memory that can transport me right back in an eyewink. There's a second hand bookshop in the city which smells exactly the same - it's a smell of mystery, of knowledge and fantasy and salvation for a shy little girl who spent her weekends in her bedroom with books while the house rocked under the onslaught of my sister's friends.

I just checked the library opening hours and it still opens until 8pm Monday to Friday.

And today during one of my lunchtime rambles I came across a bookshop I didn't know about, an independent bookshop in a side street. It's a smallish place, compared to the likes of Dymocks or QBD but still enough to keep me happily browsing until I was going to be late back to work.

The book I've had for the longest (not counting the books that were my father's and came to me upon his death) is Celtic Mythology which bears a faceplate from Sydney Church of England Girls' Grammar School, which was awarded to me for Language (Achievement), in December 1972. My most recent aquisition is Jonathon Strange and Mr Norrell; I wonder if I'll still have that in 44 years' time.
Current Mood: nostalgicnostalgic
Spencer's Journalspencer5460 on February 2nd, 2016 12:56 pm (UTC)
That is so cool. My first love was reading. As a pre-teen I could sit and read for hour! From The Boxcar Children and Nancy Drew to Mary Stewart's King Arthur series and The Lord of the Rings series. My parents thought I was crazy. Later it was Jack Kerouac, J.D. Salinger, Kurt Vonnegut. Then RL intervened. Sigh. Joining a book club was on my bucket list. And I finally did. Yay!
miwahni: Pros Ray readingmiwahni on February 4th, 2016 10:54 am (UTC)
Reading your list and saying yes! yes! - until J.D. Salinger. I know that Catcher in the Rye is considered a classic but to me it was a tale of a self-absorbed teen who needed a good reality check. It could be that I was an adult when I read it, and couldn't relate to his experiences.
Good on you for joining a book club! That would be a lot of fun I think.
Spencer's Journalspencer5460 on February 4th, 2016 01:36 pm (UTC)
I was drawn to stories of people on the fringes; people who were dissatisfied with the status quo and who were looking for how they fit in the world. I agree that our perceptions of the stories change with age and experience. Sometimes I want to go back and shake the characters and tell them "it's not always going to be this way!"
Strike while the irony is hot: [EMO] BOOKSdraycevixen on February 2nd, 2016 03:44 pm (UTC)
Books remain a central love of my life and it makes me sad to see their popularity declining with the next generation of my family.

miwahni: Pros Ray readingmiwahni on February 4th, 2016 10:55 am (UTC)
That hurts. I was thrilled when my son sent me a link to his Amazon wishlist before Christmas, and there were authors like Hemingway on it. They were presents I was happy to give.
Trepkos: Arthur and Kai smiletrepkos on February 2nd, 2016 07:25 pm (UTC)
Was the Celtic Mythology for "Arthur of the Britons" research?!
I'm with you on the library thrills; three books per week - sometimes more. Even more exciting was when I was allowed to take books from the more grown up section of the children's library, then take one of my tickets to the adults' library across town. Which had a lift! I think it was one of very few places that had one in those days!
miwahni: Pros Ray readingmiwahni on February 4th, 2016 10:57 am (UTC)
Heh no, but it could have played a part in my ongoing fascination with Arthurian legend.
The library of my childhood was my favourite place in the world. And didn't you feel grown-up, the first time you could take a book from the older sections!