Head in a Book

I daresay you’ll have noticed by now how much I love books. I spend a lot of my time reading, or listening to audio books. I expect my knitting output would be much higher if I had the multi-tasking talent of the late Elizabeth Zimmerman, who read a book and knit at the same time.   

On Friday, I decided I would rearrange our bookshelves, a job which I’ve been putting off for months. Tony arranged the books originally, and although they looked decorative, he didn’t put them in any kind of order (some were even upsidedown) which was rumpling my neat little brain. Besides, a couple of times recently I’ve bought a book, only to realise I already have it. Not good. So I thought I’d spend Friday morning doing that, then have a nice afternoon knitting by the woodstove. Ha, ha. Even with my geeky category list, that I’d carefully prepared, it took me hours. And the mess, oh boy, the mess. Books everywhere. Dust everywhere.

But I did it in the end, and now all the books are neatly categorised, and sub categorised, and got dangerously close to being alphabetised, but I resisted that temptation, since I am trying not to be quite so anal. And it looks beautiful. And now I can put my hand on any book, without long searching.

At the moment, I’m reading three books – the collected letters of Evelyn Waugh, a Patricia Wentworth mystery, and Miss Marjoribanks, by Mrs Oliphant. This is generally how I read, some nonfiction, some lightweight fiction, and something a little more meaty. A smorgasbord of reading, if you will. I was talking to Karen last week about reading, and the amount of books I get through (I reckon about 150 a year nowadays, but when I didn’t work so hard it was more like double that figure). I expect I do read more than the average person, but there’s more than a voracious appetite for books at work here. Firstly, I am an incredibly fast reader. I wish I wasn’t, especially on a really good book, but I am. Secondly, we don’t have an actual tv in the house, we just watch the occasional dvd. So evenings and weekends are for knitting and reading. And I automatically pick up a book to read at every available opportunity, at meals (naughty, I know, but I can’t break myself of the habit), while cooking, in the car, anytime I am still for a minute or two. I’ve always been like that. Head in a book, that’s me.

I must say, Miss Marjoriebanks is turning out to be superb. If you like Jane Austen you’d like it (and if you don’t like Jane Austen, why on earth not?!), and if you love Cranford, as I do, you’d like it. Speaking of which, is anyone watching the tv series of Cranford at the moment? Since it’s one of my favourite books, its killing me not to see it, but I’ll have to wait until it’s released on dvd. Is it worth the wait?

9 thoughts on “Head in a Book

  1. Its so wonderful to realise I’m normal regarding reading. I also read a meditation a day too. I’m going through the Yarn Harlot’s one at the minute, makes me howl but when I read it out as requested I just get lots of blank looks, obviously not a non-knitter book.
    Cranford is delightful, the characters have been brought to life in an amazing way. Sue Birtwhistle who gave us Colin Firth as Mr Darcy is in charge, so only to be expected I suppose. Three more episodes left as well. Ian and I have re-organised our Sundays to watch it, so worth it. I will obviously buy the DVD too. Did you get Becoming Jane on DVD yet?

  2. Cranford? Excellent! A great cast, and we Brits do do a period costume drama so well. Reading? I love it, but I am dyslexic, with Irlen Syndrome, so even with the help of the vivid orange lenses in my glasses I am still not a fast reader. I seem fast because I skim read quickly to catch the words before they slide off the page, but I need to read a book three or four times to get all of the detail, which is fine by me as we even have book shelves going up the side of the stairs, so no space to bring in new books. And I don’t like library books, I like them to be mine, to revisit as I wish.

  3. I’ve really enjoyed Cranford as well.
    I’ve had an old copy of the book for decades but never read beyond the first few pages.
    I might have another go.

  4. I saw episode one of Cranford and it was delightful. I missed the one last night as I went to bed really early as I started a job today.

    I thought I might get the DVD at some point. I’ve treated myself to the Wives and Daughters DVD by Elizabeth Gaskell which I love.

    Oh and my new job – you’d love where it is.

    A huge book shop!

    I work in the cash office though, and don’t see many books unless I go and have a wander.

  5. So it was you all along, Dee!
    I knew I’d got the recommendation to read Miss Silver from a blog somewhere and couldn’t remember where. Thanks, I love the knitting lady sleuth!

    We read Cranford for ‘O’ level English and I hated every minute of it. I’ve loved the first two episodes of the series and realise how much I didn’t understand 40+ years ago so now I will re-read the book with older and wiser eyes.

  6. Cranford is great! The first episode with the lace incident had me in near hysterics! Worth the wait? I’ll be queueing up to get it the second it’s released.

  7. Haven’t read Cranford but having seen the BBC adaptation have ordered the books. I agree with Michaela – the lace incident was hilarious. The DVD is being released at the end of January.

  8. I read everywhere I go, too–although lately knitting tends to take up more of my time than reading. I occasionally will try some simple knitting while reading, but it seems to take away from both pastimes rather than adding to either!

    I wonder when/if Cranford will be broadcast over here? Usually things make it over eventually, so I’ll have to keep an eye out. Ooh! A quick Google tells me that PBS will be airing it in the spring! They’re airing the “Complete Jane Austen” in January, so I’ll be keeping an eye out for that, too.

    And I’m making a note of your book recommendations, perhaps for some vacation reading. 🙂

  9. Cranford, the tv series? Fun ! But not a patch on the book. Many of the stories that were told as little vignettes in the past tense (eg the kitten that swallowed–and then regurgitated–the lace) are dramatised, with Miss Pole and Miss Matty looking on in a gigling schoolgirl/gossiping goodwife way. The feeling of leisured, yet industrious, repose isn’t there (we’ve not witnessed any knitting or embroidery yet, boo) and socio-political issues (poverty, poaching, railways) are dragged to the fore. But it is nothing like as bad as the films of Mansfield Park and Possession!