I'm sat on my bed having set up another reading blog; this time I am more determined and will not let the little voice in the back of my head put me off. This is a record of what I'm reading, buying, putting off reading and hoping to buy. Books have always been my primary hobby. As a kid my parents, older sister and I would spend Saturdays browsing the local cattle market (I grew up on a farm) looking for some cows, sheep or goats to add to our ever growing collection of beasts. I loved these Saturdays partly because my parents would leave us in pens with random lambs or goats while they went in search of livestock but mostly because of the old book lady. That's what we used to call her. Yes, she was pretty old to my young eyes but she had a wonderful collection of old musty books that I would spend ages exploring. My parents always encouraged me to read and never said no to buying me books. They were happy to indulge me and we spent a fair amount of money with 'the old book lady' over the years. I loved nothing better than being crammed in the footwell of Dad's pick up while Mum and my sister shared the passenger seat. Well, that's probably stretching it as it was bloody uncomfortable down there with their muddy wellies but it was the 80s so no one was watching.
I had a couple of other favourite book haunts as a kid, funnily enough I haven't really thought about them until now. The first was a small independent bookshop in Bedford called Pemberton Books (sadly, replaced by a coffeeshop). I remember struggling up the really narrow staircase to the children's section where I'd grab as many Point Horrors as I could carry, which admittedly was never as many as I wanted. What a waste! My other favourite bookish places were the WH Smiths in St Pancras train station where my mum would never fail to buy me a book en route to Great Ormond Street Hospital. This has since been turned into a Carluccio's restaurant: annoying.
Finally, my local library! I loved my local library, so much. My mum would drop me off there on her way to do the weekly shop at Safeway. Yes, she would leave me there pottering around for an hour or so. Talk about freedom. I nagged Mum for ages before she left me there to my own devices and I couldn't have been more than nine or ten. I had my library card and was given the freedom of the stacks, well whatever I could reach. Continuing on with my love of horror and all things creepy I would borrow things like The Exorcist and whatever else was kicking about in the occult section. I was a bit of a dark one, if you hadn't guessed.
Now I'm a Mum of one, relaxing time in bookshops is pretty limited and I do buy a great deal of books online both new and second hand. When I do get the odd stolen afternoon I also enjoy visiting Astley Book Farm in Bedworth. Thousands upon thousands of books await me that I have often become a little intimidated by the stacks.
I enjoy reading in all formats so will happily have paperbacks, hardbacks, journals and my Kindle jostling for space on my bedside table. I hope you'll enjoy coming along with me on my bookish jaunts while I discover books new and old.