When I was a child some of my best holidays were spent in tents and on caravan parks by the English seaside. Not because I didn’t love the sunshine but because of the English weather, I’d spend hours reading as it would often rain, but these wouldn’t be snatched moments between activities oh no. They would be hours of reading because there was no TV and nothing to do except scrabble or monopoly and that wasn’t for me. I would read for long, non-interrupted allowed hours.. I think this is when I first fell in love with reading.
During a week in Skegness I recall I read many of Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers series (my mum’s copies!) Oh they had me wishing to go to boarding school; I devoured them eagerly imaging how wonderful it would be to be there.
Later I loved the Secret Seven and would take the books crammed in my little suitcase. Their many mysteries used to make me a bit scared in the tent though!
As I got older I became completely obsessed with Agatha Christie books. Last year for Christmas the box set of Poirot DVD’s was my prize present. The love affair with crime solving lingers on. Granny had every Agatha Christie and she was very poorly my granny, for a long time so we spent many hours with her during my childhood. Sat in the corner chair of her room I would leave the worry that consumed my mum and disappear in to Agatha’s glamorous world. .Despite being quite young for these I think I read every one twice.
Later I was absorbed by Jean Plaidy books, enthralled by characters that were real bought to life despite being long dead. Mum had all these too. I think whatever books she had shaped my reading! I would take 2 Plaidy’s each return trip to university and between Nottingham and Colchester I would spend my train journeys in Tudor courts and in palaces in Paris. I would return the 2 books on my next visit and borrow two more. Blissful hours of time to read and in them days no mobile phones to interrupt!
I did a degree in American Literature at The University of Essex gosh nearly twenty years ago now. Oh,it was a wonderful course. 4 hours a week of tutor time, various lectures that I often missed and a soulful tutor who believed we should read a poem, a book and a play every 2 weeks and write 12 papers over the year on any aspect we chose. Such blessed freedom and permission to read and read and read. Wow. I read Whitman and Dos Passos, Arthur Miller, Eugene O’Neill, James Fenimore Cooper and Edith Wharton, Moby Dick Huckleberry Finn, Emily Dickenson and the majestic F.Scott Fitzgerald. I was in heaven. I wrote my thesis on Alice Walker and Toni Morrison and read constantly. Wonderful hours.
Later reading became snatched moments in between young children, working and keeping my home .But this lovely blog space has again given me permission to read and greedily gobble up books.
How do you get time to read and what did you read when you had hours to read……and get lost in a world of books?