Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Dusty Piles of Books

I made a big old promise to myself this year. No more procrastinating. No more putting things off for another day. 
 To be truthful I'm human, so I'm still putting off a lot of the stuff I hate, but I'm really trying to seize the day with the stuff I love.

In the middle of all these good plans I came across a blog I'd not heard of before. A couple of people on Instagram mentioned the link and then Penny on L is for Love chatted about the year in books she was joining in with on Laura's blog Circle of Pine Trees. There are quite a few things to join in with once you blog and they're all such fabulous ideas, all great ways of growing a community of friends. I joined in with Dottie Angel's year of living thriftily a few years back now. I gained so much from all I learnt during that year and amazingly to me I stuck to it like a religion. I haven't come across anything since that I've wanted to join in with in the same way, until now.

You see this thing I want to join in with is about reading. Reading one book a month (more if you fancy, no hard rules, which suits me perfectly). That's 12 books over a year.
Once I would have thought that was easy peasy. I was the girl with her head always in a book. The quiet child hidden behind the sofa climbing up The Faraway Tree to visit Moonface and his friends, while the adults talked and laughed. The child who read on every car journey, sat in baths having to finish the chapter while the bath water went cold. My love of books led me to a degree in literature, philosophy and history of art a few years after finishing art college. Then I tore books apart, read with a pencil poised ready to make notes all over the page. I came alive within the world of literature that my very talented lecturers opened up to me. When I graduated I ended up in Fine Art PR and then Advertising for a while. Being made redundant gave me the push I needed to sign up for a post-grad course to teach post-16. I worked as a mental health secretary while I slowly built up my teaching hours so I could teach A'level English.

The strange thing was I just couldn't read for pleasure anymore. Reading had become such a high falluting thing for me, a job and also there was a fair amount of snobbery about what you should be reading. Then I changed direction and dipped for the first time into the world of Mary Wesley and Joanna Trollope. I needed fun reading to get me back to the real pleasure of what reading was about.  
Ever since I've tried to alternate my books. I read a bit of fluff and then something with a bit of weight to it.

Somehow, over the last year (I blame getting an iPad on this personally) I've stopped reading. Books are piling up on the stairs, by our bed and on the bookshelves. I haven't stopped bringing them home, just reading them. I curl up in bed with my iPad to have a quick browse before I read and before I know it I've fallen asleep.

So, I'm going to take action and change all that because I want to. Little Bun and I have started on the Malory Towers collection together. I read while she sits in the bath. I absolutely loved these books when I was her age and dreamed of midnight feasts, lacrosse and sucking orange slices at games matches. Funnily enough the school the Buns are at plays lacrosse so it's all a bit Enid Blyton there too.

As for me I'm getting back to reading Maggie O'Farrell's Instructions for a Heatwave. I've been enjoying this, I'm not gripped yet, but I don't want to add it to the pile of unread either.

If you fancy joining in too then follow this link. More the merrier I reckon. 

In other news I had a couple of parcels last week. One was a birthday gift left on the doorstep from a friend of mine. Choccies all eaten, but I don't want to light the little toadstools. I also need to find a frame for the vintage card she found for me.

I also need to find just the right frame for this gorgeous print from the very talented Jane. She designed so many fabulous ones that I just couldn't make up my mind which to choose. Then we saw Saving Mr Banks and the song just stuck in my head so that helped me choose. It also got me grabbing the girls copy of Mary Poppins off their shelves as I've never read it and want to change that this year. 

That's me done I think.

Apart from - here she goes again you're probably thinking - if you've got this far that is. I need to mention the Giveaway which is all closed now. Thankyou to everyone who's entered and left such heartwarming comments. I feel horrible that you can't all have the book and brooch between you, but there it is, that's life.
One of my lovely girlies will pick a name out a hat or a tin for me to tonight when we get in. I'll let you know who the winner is as soon as, I promise. 


  1. I am so glad that I am not the only one with piles of unread books, I have seen Laura's book club too, so I think that perhaps joining in might be good inspiration for getting some of them read, I will have to see!! Good luck with your plan, I hope that you get lots of books read this year. I look forward to reading your reviews. xx

  2. It sounds like iPads & iPhones have a lot to answer for! I stopped reading when I brought mine, so easy to catch up with Twitter/FB & play silly games! I read 31 books last year, getting better!!! I'm joining in #theyearinbooks, hope it keeps me on track! x

  3. Great post have enjoyed reading it (all the way through) like you I love books... At the moment I am reading about flower hunters or the story of a wood.. But the IPad is my down fall, if I have five minuets I will be on it, or even watching the TV. My only excuse is when I am reading I fall asleep.

  4. I love reading - always have a book on the go. Do read the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and La's Orchestra Saves the Worl. I loved those two.

  5. Happy reading. My reading has slowed down too but then I craft and belly dance and there will always be time for reading. Good Luck with your 12 book challenge.

  6. Well I shall certainly follow the link and look at this book a month, though it is hard for me to only read one a month, usually it is four or five. I am older, I have no demands on my time other than housework and a husband to feed, so can read to my hearts content. Your day will come! Loved the Mallory Towers books also, happy childhood memories for me... I see someone has written them now and added more titles to the series. May need to look into getting some secondhand copies and having a bit of a nostalgic read. Thank you for a lovely post, yet again.

  7. Such a good idea a book a month. I used to read loads before having my little one, now i seem to spend that time crocheting or crafting, and reading in bed involves one page then i'm asleep. However, this year it is all going to change, thanks for the inspiration! Catx

  8. This is a great idea- I might join in too. I used to enjoy reading books but have only read a few since having my girls. I'll have a look at the link- thank you!
    Marion x

  9. The reading group is a great idea, although I'm not sure I have enough reading time. There never seems to be quite enough time..! I do hope you enjoy it though.

  10. I too have joined in with the Year of Books having been sent there by the other Penny! I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone else is reading. Also looking forward to meeting you tomorrow for a catch up. x

  11. So glad you're joining in too ... will you be opening a Goodreads account too ... Bee xx

  12. I'm joining in with that one too. I won't be reading anything complicated, but I think reading anything at all is a big step up over what I have been managing the last few years!

  13. Its funny how so far this year I have seen so many book challenges and groups going on in blog world. Funny because last year I started to find myself in the loved reading but didn't seem to as much anymore. The piles of books grew but nope I was too busy on the computer or t.v or making whatever it was that had got my attention at the time. Over christmas i managed to hit the big stack of books that have been waiting for me most of last year. Even with three more new ones added in. I have got down to my last four. I am floudering a bit with my current read. But think it might be worth persevering with.

    As I have got older I notice that my taste in books has change. I have brought and read most (not all) some of the classics that I never would of been bothered about when younger. I think that is the thing with reading. Its always there even when you are busy its just finding a little time to sit with a good book and get lost for a while. I see my oldest girl taking up the bookworm mantle she loves her books! It really does make me smile.

    Look forward to hearing about what you are reading sometimes its nice to find new titles that I would not usually consider.

    P x

  14. I haven't seen the Saving Mr banks film but I did see the documentary about it on TV and now I'd really like to read the original Mary Poppins books! Ban your ipad to another room! ;)
    Jess xx

  15. Hi - I also used to read and read until I could hardly see straight but since having Little Son I have found that I don't read much at all but, like you, keep buying books and accepting pre-read ones from my Dad to add to my stash. I have been packing to move house and we must have at least 40 large boxes of unread books and I haven't finished packing yet - does that make you feel better!! I think that blogland has been a contributing factor for me too as when I am tired its easier to dip into blogs than sit and read. I also hope to change this pattern. I have bought a Kobo and discovered a way to read Kindle books on it (which are more reasonable if you get them on the daily deals for 99p)and for some reason I am finding it a more accessible way to read at the moment. I still love real books though. You can't beat the feel and smell of them. Enjoy your reading group. Let us know what you choose to read. Lily. xxx

  16. i have bookcase envy here! oo i hear you on this, did you see the post i did last week....we are on the same track my lovely! http://textgeorge.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/a-year-of-book-reviews-and-reading.html
    I brought Poppy the complete malory towers set and also the complete famous 5 set for christmas and we have started on that together...its magical to re-read them! will be so interested to follow you and see what you read x

  17. Lisa...such a spooky coincidence I have a post ready to be scheduled that is the same but different to this....I want you to know I have not copied you at all in fact I will go back and change a few things before I publish it as its just too too the same...so funny??
    Long story short...I intend joining in too...see you there!
    Daisy xx

  18. A brilliant post, I too can remember Mallory Towers and have joined in with Lucy.. I'm hoping my reading list will be longer than last year.

  19. Hi Lisa, So glad that you will be joining in! Agreed, there are lots of lapsed English students/ teachers getting involved. Brilliant to hear that we are all reading again. Laura

  20. Oh I am so pleased to hear that you are joining in Lisa it's going to be good fun. I too went through a phase of very serious reading and it eventually got me down. Some frivolous easy fun reading was the cure for sure, my snobbery in what to read plummeted and I became a lot more balanced :o) looking forward to seeing what you enjoy reading this year, lots of love and hugs, Penny xox

  21. This was one of my own 2014 choices so its lovely to join in with others. I generally prefer non-fiction these days but there are a few authors I enjoy - I too can be a little snobby with some fiction. xx

  22. I love books too. But hardly ever read them any more! I keep bringing them home and love libraries then they sit, thumbed through until I have warnings from the library to take them back! All that potential ... You sound incredibly well read. It would be nice to have your list of top 10 must reads to start working through. Er reading through.

  23. I've just found your blog and can totally identify with what you've said about books and reading. My all time favourite was the magic faraway tree and I loved the St Clare's and Mallory Towers as well as all the Enid Blyton books. I too buy many books and store then while I pootle about on the internet. One of the downsides of teaching is that it is difficult not to mark or grade what you read and it is hard to find the balance as this can totally spoil your enjoyment of reading. I'll look forward to reading how you get on with the read-a-long.

  24. Hello Lisa,

    I thnk this lovely post has yours has resonated with many! Books are possibly my best friends but with work and family life they often take last place in my list of favourite priorities! I would love to join in with this project too! Goodness, I was so fond of Malory Towers for all the same reasons as you.

    Warmest wishes,


  25. Loving the books......why are book covers so enchanting ? ! I got a kindle for Christmas.....with Hubby`s consent it went straight on ebay.......nothing compares to a book.........!

  26. I have started to read the Moomins books...very wise words are written in these tales!

  27. I am visiting via Cozy Little House. I am headed out on a bicycle ride along the beach right now, but when I get back, I am reading your blog backwards. It looks so fun!

  28. What a great idea, I love t read, and have so many books that I would love to discover again, maybe I'll try this too :) x


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