Thursday 27 October 2011

Read all about it

I've really got back into reading lately, which I am so pleased about. I'd always been an avid reader - learning to read when I was very young, gobbling up books on my way through school, and going on to study literature at university where I would read four or five set books a week, and then a mass of critical study on each of those texts.

I love reading - especially when you can devour a book from cover to cover in one sitting and be transported to another world for a few hours. I love the escapism that a good book can give - when you can be absorbed by characters, connections, emotions, places and histories. This total and complete absorption is my idea of bliss. Whether it be squashed on to the tube, curled up on the sofa, snuggled under the duvet, stretched out in a park in London, or lazily reclined on a sun lounger - when I'm with a book, I'm at peace and the world revolves around me silently and irrelevantly.

I lost this passion for a few months after we lost our baby. Everything felt like too much of an effort, and I couldn't find the interest or concentration to be transported to another world - much as I would have liked to have been at the time. Along with my hopes and aspirations of being a mother this year, my literary flame had gently burned out and there was no relief in those open pages. But when we went to Sardinia in September, I dusted off my e-reader, uploaded 11 new books on to it - and I had read them all by the time I came back to London a week later, as well as a couple of books I picked up from the hotel library! A real variety of titles - from the contemporary multiculturalism of the Slap (which I understand is currently being televised), to the inevitable sadness of Alone in Berlin, and the sumptuous history of the House at Riverton (please let this be televised!). My senses were sated, and my greed for words had returned. My stomach rumbled for more.

And with this new-found love of an old favourite, comes a moment of wonder. It has been for a long time my dream to write a book, and it feels like now - after everything this year has brought - I might finally have it in me. It's not about being published or writing a best-seller (although of course that would be nice!) but it's about doing something I've always wanted to do for myself, but have always had too much fear. This year has taught me that fears can be realised, but also endured and surpassed - and this blog has helped me understand that I can write. And that I enjoy it and it gives me a centre. Safe to say I'm inspired - re-inspired - and I now have plot ideas and character suggestions whirling around and trying to form an orderly queue in my mind. I finally feel like I can do this, so wish me luck - I'm sure I'll share how I'm getting on in this blog.


  1. Oh good luck! I am glad that you have got your groove back in terms of reading and think writing is wonderful. I miss writing (obviously I mean non blog writing) and think sitting down to create something can be wonderful.

  2. Yay! I love The Slap AND Alone In Berlin-- I can't wait to hear your thoughts...
    I haven't been reading these past few months, had a lot on my mind and I cannot concentrate on a book when that is the case... I just started Wicked by Gregory Maguire...

  3. Thanks for your support guys, the book-writing project starts this weekend - have had a few ideas and am going to sketch one out and give it a bash!

    I couldn't put down the Slap or Alone in Berlin - I found both very unique and totally absorbing. Alone in Berlin had me sobbing by the end, it's a long time since a book moved me that much. Although, I've just started reading The Railway Man by Eric Lomax that I expect will destroy me.

    Not heard of Wicked - will look it up!