Saturday, August 13, 2011

Books After Bedtime

If you were to come and visit my family, one of the first things you would notice as you stepped through the door, would be the large bookcases in the entrance hall. Walk further into the house and you'd see that almost every room contains at least one bookshelf. And you'd also see that every single one is stuffed with books.

Every book in our vast collection is an old friend. Lots of them are second hand. Some are birthday or Christmas presents. But all of them are well loved. If you haven't guessed it by now, we are a family of readers.

I was first introduced to the wonderful world of books through bedtime stories. Dad would sit down in one of the armchairs and we hold out our books to him before perching on his lap, kneeling on the floor, or sitting on the arm of the chair to listen to the story. Once he was finished we would beg him to 'read another one Dad. Please!'

Later in the evening, when Charlotte and I were in bed, Dad would read the Lord of the Rings to my brothers and older sister. Well, technically we were supposed to be in bed. But actually only Charlotte was tuck up safely in bed. I was crouched beside the door, shivering in my pyjamas, trying to hear Dad's voice as he read to the others.

Then, a few years later, I discovered the delights of Jane Austen's books. I devoured every one, savouring the stories and filing away numerous wonderful quotes in my head. But reading them alone wasn't enough. I just had to share the books. And so I found a copy of Pride and Prejudice, and brought it to read to Charlotte in bed one night.

She fell in love with it at once. Every night after that, I read to her. We read our way through half of Jane Austen's books as well as numerous other books. Every night I would stop at the end of a chapter, my voice worn out from reading and Charlotte would pipe up from the bunk underneath, "Oh please can you read another chapter."

Eventually we discovered that the library allowed you to borrow lots and lots of books. Every library trip started with an empty bag, and ended with us staggering to the car under stacks of books almost taller than we were. There was hardly an author in the library that we didn't sample at least once. The YA section was left nearly empty when we were done.

We've been brought up on reading. Nothing delights us more than to curl up in a chair with a favourite book, or maybe a brand new book just brought back from the library. And now the reading fever has spread to Sophie and Gemma-Rose too. Maybe one day we'll have read all the books worth reading. And then what? Why, we'll write our own books of course. You see, we are a family of writers too...but that's another story.

What books do you like to read? Do you come home from the library with a huge stack of books?


  1. Personally, I consider myself an obsessive reader, but I am very selective about what I try. (I often post wondering what else to read). I am working my way through all the classics I've heard of, but if there are more recent books out there that are ok, I might look at them. (Your library's YA section must be far more mature than ours...)

  2. I'm quite careful about what subject I read about too. We have a fairly large YA section in our library, and there are almost always new books that we haven't heard of. What are your guidelines for a good reading book?

  3. I look forward to reading your books, Immy - who knows, maybe I'll be borrowing them from the library with our own piles of classics!:)

  4. I've got to write something worth reading first. And who knows, I might give you a signed copy?

  5. Concerning my previous comment and your question 'what are your guidelines for a good book?' Answer: I don't actually have guidelines. They consist of 'the book must be famous, and/or been enjoyed/recommended by others'

  6. We are a family of book-lovers as well. :)
    I love books!!

  7. It's always nice to find out that there are other families of book lovers in the world. What are you favourite books to read?

  8. I read anything and everything. I love reading different types of books and go through stages where I like one type more than another. And I have my favorites. Books are my friends

  9. I am reading 'Jane Eyre' for school this year, and partly from reading your blog I am looking forward to it. JT and I are, like he said, voracious readers. (If that doesn't convince you, I don't know what would.) Some of my favorites are the Will James books, which would probably be too juvenile for you, since I'm younger.

    MAS, (JT's sister again)

  10. I'm glad you're looking forwards to reading 'Jane Eyre'. It is well worth reading. In fact, I am actually thinking about reading it again. Once I work my way through my huge pile of library books that is.

    I believe you when you say you're a voracious reader. All my sisters are too.

    Is Will James a character in the books? Who's the author? I might see if I can find them for my sisters, who are younger than me.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment!