Monday, 9 March 2009

One I prepared earlier...

OK, time to 'fess up. The editing is going along pretty well but it is becoming all consuming, so here’s one I prepared earlier – like about a month ago - and forgot about! It’s a tag which originated with Nik Perring – I picked it up at Aliya Whiteley and Neil Ayres’s blog:

List at least five things you do to support and spread a love of the written word.. If you list something that touches youngsters, you get a bonus...

I have a house which is apparently spawning books as we speak. Every time we think we have enough bookcases, it seems only to be a matter of days before we discover that books have begun to colonise the stairs, the windowsills, the blanket box in the living room which is supposed to house nothing but DVDs and Wii stuff - you know, you’re not supposed to put things on top of it because you can’t get at the stuff inside easily, so – obviously - there are books on it most of the time. Bedrooms, obviously are full of books, that goes without saying but bathrooms – do other people have stacks of books in their bathrooms – balancing on the side of the bath, stacked next to the loo rolls in the downstairs loo…
So, whenever anybody comes to our house they kind of have no choice but to interact with at least one book on their visit – normally so that they can sit down on anything. They’ve got to be interested in at least one, right?

For years when my children were small I read dozens of books to them – often many, many times (Cherry Tree Farm anyone? I can probably still do it off by heart all these years later.) And I wouldn’t mind but THEY DON’T REMEMBER A SINGLE ONE. They don’t remember any of the characters they loved so much. Not a word. I mention Cherry Tree Farm and Hairy McLairy and they look at me blankly. And, more to the point, once they became literate themselves they did not start reading books off their own bat. Oh no. They became uninterested in books (unless I was reading to them, which I persisted in until they were 12 and 11) until very recently. Mind you, the Bassist is now talking about reading English at university and does things like hauling off and reading the whole F Scott Fitzgerald oeuvre which is more than I’ve ever done, so maybe Cherry Tree Farm and Hairy McLary from Donaldson’s Dairy weren’t such a vain effort after all.

Despite the prevailing tendency to listen to iPods on public transport, I persist in reading books whenever I am on a train or a bus. It puts me at a disadvantage in the carrying things around stakes – iPods are little and light and books are heavier and more chunky – but do I care? No. Reading Bill Bryson in public certainly spreads the love of the written word – nobody watching me have silent, I’m-laughing-in-front-of-other-people hysterics at something he’s written could fail to get the message that books are good for you.

I am forever lending books to friends, whether they want them or not. This may be related to One, above, but I’m not going to discuss that.

I shovel ridiculous amounts of money in the direction of Watersones and – when we’re particularly broke – the local Oxfam bookshop. The latter is also the recipient of the consequences of One, above – the trouble is, we tend to go in with a rucksack full of books which we leave with them to sort and shelve, only to leave with a rucksack full of books off the shelves. Poor effort.

Anyway, hope that goes some way to making up for the very poor showing in terms of recent posts here. I shall be putting up a few thoughts on the editing process in the next couple of days… be warned.


Akasha Savage said...

Excellent 'booky' post fact I could have written it! Just subsitute Cherry Tree Farm for The Adventures of the Faraway Tree and hey presto it's my world to a T. Although...not sure if this is a gender thing...Katy has always read everything and anything she can get her hands on, from a very early age. x

Alis said...

Hi Akasha!
Yes, I think girls do tend to be more into books as little ones. At least mine are interested now!

Nik's Blog said...

A fine list if ever I saw one!