Reading has always been a source of huge pleasure to me. From a very early age I devoured books, admittedly helped by parents who both saw reading as one of life’s greatest pleasures. My father encouraged my love of poetry reading Robert Louis Stevenson and AA Milne at bedtime.
I devoured everything from Enid Blyton to Jane Austen although I remember being unimpressed by Sir Walter Scott!. Later on my mother persuaded me to try her own favourites, Iris Murdoch, Susan Hill and Elizabeth Taylor.
Nowadays I order regularly from the library as well as browsing their shelves in between times. I have also read or re-read some of my own collection of books, although there are some I know I will never attempt, like ‘War and Peace’ and “Madame Bovary’.
Belonging to a reading group does give me the opportunity to try out authors I might otherwise dismiss. A case in point was when the group recently read ‘Child 44’ by Tom Rob Smith. Although the unrelieved gloom was hard to take for some readers, it described in detail life during the Stalinist regime at the end of World War 2. People who didn’t conform were declared traitors and shot or sent to the Gulags without mercy. Even people’s thoughts came under scrutiny in a way reminiscent of Orwell’s 1984.
All this was a surprise to me as until reading this book, admittedly a novel, I had never been aware of the true nature of Stalin’s Russia. But this is exactly where books take you. Wanting to find out more, I looked at the library online catalogue and decided to try Solzenetisyn’s ‘Gulag Archipelego’. The jury’s out as to whether or not I shall read it in full, but borrowing from the library gives me the chance to sample and decide.
And oh the pleasure of a new novel by a favourite author. I have spent the weekend reading the new Patrick Gale ‘Take nothing with you.’ It describes a young boy growing up (ironically in an old people’s home in Weston, owned by his parents) and his delight and happiness from learning a musical instrument ; the satisfaction of achievement. I am re learning the piano and can empathise with this feeling.
The library is a great place to start your reading adventure. It’s still free to join and you can borrow up to ten books for three weeks. They also have books on tape and Kindle reads to download. Check out their website at https://www.devonlibraries.org.uk/ where you can browse their catalogue and order online.
Bideford Library events.
‘A Truce with Time’ –
an Exhibition by artist Clare Petherick. Inspired by the poetry of Mary Stella Edwards. Runs until Saturday 1st December at Bideford Library.?Intrigued? Come and see Clare’s wonderful artwork hidden among the shelves of the library’s Chope Collection……
Way of the Wharves –