I love books but over the last few years I haven’t read many. Probably because at work,, all I did was read, reports, patient information, reviews, emails, and of course, my favourite, research. By the time I came home I was all read out so very rarely picked up a book for pleasure.
Books have always been important. At Nana’s, there were lots of books. She had all the Noddy books and Uncle Arthur’s bedtime reading. They were good Christian stories that scared the be-jesus out of me.
I vividly remember one about playing with matches and this poor kid set the chicken coop on fire and all the chickens were burnt alive. and you know, if it has been his house all his brothers and sisters would be dead. all burnt up. Probably one of the reasons I never played with matches. I was just too scared of the consequences.
Readers Digest put out books for young people. They were brilliant. They had lots of stories in them. It is where I learnt about people like Helen Keller, Gladys Alward and Cochise. It was full of all kinds of information.
I loved Enid Blyton. I totally understand why she has gone out of favour but back then I don’t think anyone ever thought about it. I loved the Secret Seven books and read them all over and over again. I loved Heidi. I cried though all the Heidi books. I thought that perhaps since a miracle happened for Clara it could happen for my sister Carol but it didn’t, Perhaps because there was no mountain air,
As I got older, I started reading more non fiction. I tend to go through stages, a topic will take my fancy and I will read any thing I can find. At one point, I read everything I could about the second world war and the holocaust. I wanted to understand how it happen, How people could be so inhumane to others. I never really got an answer though.
Because of my genetic history, I became really interested in Queen Victoria and her children. Queen Victoria’s youngest son had haemophilia and all her daughters that had children affected by the illness. It affected several of the European royal households particularly Russia.
So then I read about the Russian royal family and the evolution of Russia as a communist country. Which then led to other countries and more books and subjects.
I only have to see a movie or TV show that mentions an historic event and I have to read up on it. Trying to discover the fact in the fiction. I just want to keep learning. When Suzanne was little I did some study with the Correspondence School and discovered New Zealand literature. I read Ronald Hugh Morrieson and Witi Ihimaera long before the movies came out.
I always loved Whale Rider. I used to read it to Suzanne. it used to make me cry and she would look at me quite annoyed when I wasn’t reading properly though my sniffles.
One thing I haven’t been able to read is the Lord of the Rings. I have had several attempts but just can’t get into it. I knew about the LOTR long before the movies. When I was in Upper Hutt one of my friends lived in Hobbit Way. Her parents had named it. So I went to the library to find out exactly what a Hobbit was. Couldn’t get into the book though.
I brought a Kindle a while back.so I always have books on the go. And I joined the library. They have a book club so I joined. It is fun. There is no set book for us to read, we read what we like and then we talk about it. The librarian gave us a challenge. Book Bingo she called it. A grid of squares that have something written in each. There are 25 in all.
I like a challenge. I looked at the squares. You needed a large print book, a book with a number in the title, a book in the 1900, a book that scares you, and so it goes. I went straight to the large print sections and looked for likely titles. I don’t read a lot of fiction but I found an Edgar Allan Poe – definitely potential scary material.
I also found my current fad. The Poppy Chronicles. I needed the second book in a series so I grabbed the second in the series, and one with a number in the title the sixth in the series. I took them home and read them. Now I don’t usually read romance novels but I really enjoyed them. Claire Rayner puts life in her characters and it was interspersed with historical events.
So I read book 2 and book 6 and with a couple of other books I finished a line. But I wanted to know more about Poppy. I went back to the library but they didn’t have any more of the series. I got on my Kindle and ordered the other four. So now I am reading book one.
It is typical, I didn’t read the first four Harry Potter books in order.
Reading is such a pleasure. I feel sad for people who don’t read. They don’t know what they are missing.
But I have to go, Poppy is waiting and after this book I have another three to read.
© Barbara Hart 2014