It is easy, when you love books, to start the year having set yourself targets to read more. Perhaps you have even put numerical claims out there about just how many books you are going to read. Then you blink and suddenly its October and you haven’t read nearly as many books as you were hoping to. Sound familiar? Well, that is because you are setting the wrong targets. It is not about how many books you have read across the year, but rather how many books you have enjoyed and loved. How many adventures you have been on! I too have fallen into this trap and so this year I am changing the plan. This year I am going to not purchase any books, but rather read all the books on my shelf I have never got around to reading.
So this is where it begins…
I don’t much like book reviews as in my opinion on a book should be made only once I have read the book, and not made on a judgement of someone else’s personal preference. Further, if I did not like the book and I wrote about it, and someone stumbled across the words I wrote and was put off purchasing that book, then I may have influenced someone to miss the opportunity to read what could be their new favourite book. That being said, books are a big part of my life. I never have my nose out of a book for too long and I would really like to bring that side of my life to this blog. I have mentioned my top five favourite books, though, that may have to change to the top six after reading The Librarian. So, I am going to write about all of the books I have read after I have read them with a few thoughts. Then at the end of the year, I will make a judgement as to what my favourite books of the year have been.
The Librarian by Salley Vickers has been my first read of 2019. I have told myself that I can not purchase any more books until I have finished reading the ones on my bookshelf. (Please note within this limit I do not include the purchase of sequels as they are extensions of the same book) However, I was very kindly gifted The Librarian, a book which has intrigued me since the day I saw it sat on the shelf at Waterstones. A book I knew I had to read, after all, librarians and I have a mutual love for books, what wouldn’t I love about this story? Though I must admit even to myself, I did not expect this book to be as beautiful as it actually was. To say the book is written about mundane life it holds certain magic between its pages that are rare to find in a book. The story comes to life right in front of you and without realising it you are captivated in this world. I was enchanted with every word of this novel.
So this is the part where I explain some of the story to you:
The Librarian, set in 1950’s England, is based around the ‘main’ character Sylvia Blackwell, who you guessed it (spoiler alert), happens to be a librarian. She moves away from home to work at a run-down children’s library in a place called East Mole. Upon her arrival, she realises that it is up to her to engage the children with the books and to do that is no easy task, for they have no interest in reading. The close community presents some interesting characters. Though Sylvia’s task is to reunite children with books, she ends up leaving her mark on the whole town. All of this whilst also writing about social circles at the time, this will, if nothing else, re-ignite a love for books. The story that unfolds is one that tells tales of love friendship, dreams and the power of books.
Tsundoku is the Japanese word for the new books that pile up on our shelves. Well no more. This year is about all the books I have that I haven’t got round to reading because other books have been in the way. All the books that excited me over the years but I lost interest in before reading. All the books I didn’t have the heart to exchange. All the books I have purchased on a whim of ‘I will get round to it’ and all the books I forgot I even had.
Here is to a year of good reading and getting lost in the magic of a book.