The Majesty of books

This post was actually written 4 years ago before I began my degree course in 2012. It was preserved in the drafts section of this oft neglected blog and I felt it should see the light of day. So here are my thoughts on books from 24th August 2012 at 4.10pm (according to wordpress anyway!)

Recently I found myself needing (yes needing) to sort through my bookshelf. I’m sure I had an ulterior motive (avoiding study maybe) but that didn’t negate the fact that I just found myself wanting to clear out my shelves and be surrounded by piles of books for a few hours. To be completely honest with you, I love staring at and being around books almost as much as I love reading them. So a couple of days after finishing my exams I closed the door to my room and started taking down my books one by one. I was surprised by the different emotions attached to each one. Some novels (mostly the thrillers and the one’s I’ve neglected to read) I found I had almost no attachment to. I owned them but that’s as far as it went. As I kept going through my collection, I found myself stopping more and more to remember a cherished character, a favourite scene or a happy childhood memory preserved behind a cover. There was my collection of Harry Potter still with their dust jackets with my scrawled signature on the front page of each, showing my changing handwriting (believe me it only got worse over the years). Then to my shame there was the twilight saga, it made me laugh to remember how I HAD to have the next book, getting my aunt to drive me to every bookshop in a 20 mile radius until I found them. More nostalgically there was my extensive collection of dragon books with my copy of ‘Eragon’ sitting pride of place, despite the fact it’s literally falling apart from being read so many times. It’s my favourite book for that exact reason. The books my mom read to me when I was younger. She would never complain when I’d beg for another chapter (though my rose tinted glasses may be out). Each book seemed to symbolise some milestone or jold some memory, But there was one book that stopped me in my tracks. It was lodged in the very back of the bottom shelf hidden from view. It was a book given to me by my late grandfather, my first dictionary, literally entitled ‘My first Dictionary’. I remember him giving it to me and that he had written something, the date I thought. I opened it hoping to see some of the images I still had imprinted in my brain. I was amazed when stickers fell to the floor. Pokemon stickers. There was a time you’d find them everywhere I went so it seemed fitting that there’d still be a few hanging around. But as I flipped through the pages I stopped on the first page. There, in black and white was a simple inscription in my granddad’s familiar scrawl. I had a vague memory of it but was surprised by the memories it brought to the surface. This is the majesty of books, they are set out into this world to convey a story, or teach a skill but more often than not they transcend this and preserve and signify specific moments in a person life. They are special and I can’t wait to spend the next three years exploring my love of them.

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Hi 2014

It’s 2014! Not that this will have escaped anyone’s notice 🙂 and given that it is a new year I find myself surprisingly inspired to get proactive again about the things that I’m most passionate about. Now taking that the most neglected endeavor in my life to date is probably this blog (wasted piano lessons as a child ranks a close second!), you would think that books probably ain’t one of those things, but sadly they are; which makes the lack of posting on this blog even worse. So my resolution is not to blog regularly this year, but it is to blog. One of the worst things a person can do is to ignore their own urge to create something and I’ve been guilty of that where this blog is concerned. I do often get inspired to write something or think of witty (witty to me anyway) or interesting things to say about a passage or book that I’m reading. Even more often I’d love somewhere to write all the ideas and thoughts about the material I study in college (I’m taking English) that are largely disregarded because they just don’t contribute to the overall direction that the lecturer is taking the module/course. So in the next few days I’m going to post a TBR list for 2014 or at least a partial one (since I don’t like the idea of being completely tied down) to the blog and create a corresponding self on Goodreads. I have set a challenge of reading 40 books this year on that website; it’s not a lot when I look at some other goals that people have set themselves ranging into the hundreds but it’s doable for me since most of the books I read need to be analysed extensively for college (not to mention I take a joint degree in history as well) so there you have it. I have a feeling that I will exceed this goal just because I read 36 books last year (according to Goodreads) and that was while living and working in New York for three months and ploughing through the Game of Thrones series, neither of which were conducive to flying through books (though the commute into Manhattan was pretty handy for getting some reading done I have to say). Anyway Happy New Year to those who catch this post hope you have great years ahead!