A Little Light Reading

Friday, 8 October 2010

I may have mentioned that I like to read. This is probably an understatement. I read all the time - in bed, on the train, when cooking dinner, when washing my hair. I read fast and I get through a lot of books. Having a library just round the corner is very handy but I buy piles of books from a variety of places and unless they're really awful, I don't get rid of many of them.

This post, early on in the days of the blog, looked at some of my bookcases. There's quite a lot of book overflow though and my bedside table is actually a giant square of books that forms my to-read pile. Almost all purchased from charity shops and car boot sales, with a smattering of loaned books mixed in. These pics were actually taken a couple of weeks ago, pre-holiday, so I've read quite a few of them since then.

I do love a good historical biography and I have tons, mostly about women. I'm quite fond of historical non-fiction too. I like to hoover up knowledge about all periods so once I've read the stuff about the seventeenth century and Regency period, I've got a new stash of medieval/Wars of the Roses books to work my way through.

A random selection of fiction. I was very chuffed to snaffle the Monica Dickens paperbacks for 50p each in a little shop in Tunbridge Wells. There's just something so pleasing about the old Penguin covers.

Some historical fiction. I'll be honest, I wasn't smitten with the first of the C.J Sansom trilogy but that may have been due to the huge similarities in plot it shared with another book I'd read not long before it. I thought as the second and third books were cheap, I might as well give them a read and then make a final decision.

A couple of autobiographies. The Stephen Fry kept me amused on holiday and I'm muchly looking forward to his new book.

Works of self improvement. I just don't read poetry - if a poem is quoted in a book then my eyes go straight past it - and I keep thinking that I must get a grip and try some of it. I'll report back if I succeed.

Random mixture of non fiction. I don't want to talk about being a Liverpool fan at the moment, it's really not a good time. I can't work out whether reading it will cheer me up or make me more full of doom.

Can't stop snerking when I look at the cover of The Thirteenth Member

My collectors eye mainly falls upon children's fiction. I don't subscribe to the theory that you should leave children's fiction behind when you leave childhood. Some of my favourite authors and favourite books technically belong on the kids shelves but I couldn't care less. I'm not ashamed of reading them.

Romance/chick lit and crime fiction are quite underrepresented here. I read a fair amount of them but clearly haven't been buying many of them recently. I have a craving for the former every now and then and binge on books from the library. They're mostly froth so I save my dosh for the few authors I really like. As for crime and mysteries, I've just read about 6 Margery Allingham novels and now I'm taking a break from the genre for a little while.

And this is why I like to buy my books secondhand. They are so much more interesting than sanitised, dull modern copies. I love finding a name or an old library stamp in the front of a book. Even better is a message or inscription as it sets off all kinds of thoughts and wonderings about the previous owners.

So that's most of the to-read pile. Would you like any more book chat/reviews/wafflings about my favourites in the future?


  1. i love reading and go through stacks of books too, but the genres that i tend to stick to are much more limited then you.
    I really want to read Stephen frys book though, i've only just found your blog but do you ever do book reviews? x

  2. What a marvellous selection. I'm rather enamoured with the fabulous cleavage on the cover of the Restoration Plays. I'd be tempted to have it on display. xxx

  3. Aah I have that Paddington book! Used to be my mums, think its older than me :) Interested as to how you read when washing your hair... Ive started reading at work, lately I've had a book in my hand constantly, bout time I stopped buying I think!

  4. Wow, fab collection with a great mixture of books.
    I love reading, mostly Martina Cole, love the gangsters and story she sets.
    Although currently reading The Lovely Bones for the 5th time, and next is For Whom The Bell Tolls. And of course there are the hair books, like any good hair geek.


  5. I love reading and I love posts about books- please do more.
    I tend to read a lot of light hearted fiction to be honest, though I really admire your choices; you have such a vast collection. And I love finding a wonderfully old and quaint book cover. And I am quite fond of finding names and old library stamps too. There just so intriguing aren’t they.
    Love love those children’s books, I don’t think I will ever let go of my love for them either x

  6. I love reading, and like you, our bookshelves are jam packed with books and in some places 2-deep. I'm always interested in what people are reading, so yes please, more book related stuff.

    I like to collect ladybird books and old puffins. I very rarely buy books new.

  7. I love reading too, but in the past few years - due to my illness and not being able to concentrate as well as I used to, I don't read as much or as fast anymore, I could get through 3 or 4 books in a wkend when younger!

    I love the idea of a book review on your blog, I do one myself - but as mentioned above they are sporadic!

    Loved seeing a Puddle Lane book in your childrens collection - I was a BIG fan when I was a child .. and agree with you about children's fiction as I still read it myself from time to time!


    Hope your having a great weekend?

    Sal xXx

  8. Yes yes yes! I love to hear about what other people are reading. I haven't read much myself of anything on your list, except the Princess Bride which I LOVE.

    I just finished reading the Piano Tuner which was very good, set in the late 1800s when a piano tuner in London gets summoned by the war office to tune a grand piano in Burma. Very excting and exotic. And before that I read a very silly novel about Prince Albert/King Ed VII being a detective solving a mystery with Sarah Bernhardt.

    Have to admit I am getting more selective about what I buy and keep. I eventually realised I was going to run out of space, and that I'd prefer to buy books with cool old covers whenever possible. So I am now collecting lurid Agatha Christies from the 60s, and hardcover Georgette Heyers, as I know these are authors I will read again and again.

    On another note (this is turning into a saga!), I got your pom pom necklace today! Thank you so much, it is fab and I discovered that I can even tie it over my head if I want to do the headband thing. Will do a post on it when Mr D is back to take pics :) Hope you are having a great weekend x

  9. Wow what a selection you have. Love your bookshelves in your previous post. A few months back I decided to read some of the classic childrens books I didn't get round to reading when I was young. I've been hunting them down in CS, so far I've read Anne of Green Gables, Alice in Wonderland, the first Famous Five (I was a secret seven girl) and the other day I found Wind In The Willows.

  10. Wow... That is a lot of books! I'm the opposite - I don't buy books unless I've already read it and love it so much. I go to the library for books but haven't for a while.

    CLOTHED MUCH, a modest fashion blog

  11. I just love this post. You are clearly a dynamic person (which I think your blog has always indicated), however this really gives readers a *peak* at that.

    It also calls at my long lost love; time for reading books. My high pace lifestyle has kept me from truly digging into one of my most enjoyable pasttimes.

  12. Such a wonderful vintage collection, im also a book worm =]

  13. Hurray!! I love the books, can't get enough of them and I'm certainly all up for hearing about books in the future, I hope you have better luck than me though, I started at the beginning of the year doing monthly reviews of the books I've read that month and they go down like the proverbial lead balloon.

    Really hope you do like CJ Sansom Shardlake series, I loved them and it's not normally a genre I go for.

    Have you read Wedlock? That was a great bit of historical biography I thought.

    And I totally have that When My Naughty Little Sister was Good book!! Same cover and everything. At least I hope I still have it in a box somewhere!

  14. Great collection! I wish I had more time to read; although when I find an interesting book, I usually put everything off to finish it haha. But I haven't bought books myself - I usually read them at little bookstores :)

  15. fab selection! love penguin classics! :) x

  16. Alex, I'm more than happy to hear your reading recommendations. I've tried some Georgette Hayer and quite enjoyed it. Really struggled with Philippa Gregory for some reason, just couldn't get into the story of the book I read. I recently finished a book I think you might enjoy - The Outlander by Gil Adamson. Set in Canada about 1900 I think - kind of adventure/love story. Cold Mountain meets Cormac McCarthy - I found it a real page turner. xx

  17. I'd love to hear more book recommendations. My main barrier to reading is how much of my free time is taken up with OUing, sometimes I feel like I have little time to read for fun. So more reviews please, I shall live my literary life vicariously through your blog.

    (As a Fulham supporter, I have to say that I am only taking a tiny incy wincy bit of pleasure out of Liverpool's current predicament. Oh Roy, what have you done...?)

  18. Hmm, it's a double edged sword this one because I love books and reading book reviews, but I just don't have a lot of time to read so my to read pile is constantly teetering at about 100 - and reading book reviews makes it grow even more.... Ah what the heck - go for it!

  19. I LOVE to read about books almost as much as I love to read them so please keep it coming!
    Have you read the Ottoline books? They are childrens books but absolutely beautiful and I'm certain you'd like them. If you'd like to borrow them off me let me know because I don't think the price has gone down on them xx


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