World Book Day

I saw this on another blog that I read, and I thought I would do the same…

In honour of World Book Day, a few words about books! Books are wonderful. I love books. I love reading them, experiencing them. I love looking at them, feeling the weight and texture of a book in my hands, the smells of certain books, of old books and the heavy scent of a bookstore full of new books. I spent most of yesterday reading The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver and I want to talk about it. So more of you should read it. And that is another thing I love: talking about books, discussing them, both with readers and fellow writers. I heard Mark Haddon (of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time fame) say on the radio that the best books are books that get people talking.

The book I am reading: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. A Baptist preacher from Georgia takes his wife and three daughters to the Congo to be missionaries in the 1950s. Told from the viewpoints of the mother and daughters, I am amazed at the wealth and depth of characterization of not only the pov-characters but of everyone in the village.

The book I am writing: At the present, I’m not writing a book. I am working on a short story, in stops and starts, as is my way with short stories. A young itinerant preacher leads a revival in the church in the far distant future and she leads a group of them to be missionaries on Mars.

The book I love most: If I must choose… The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell or The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin.

The last book I received as a gift: Gifts by Ursula K. Le Guin, from Kelly for Christmas, because she was being punny.

The last book I gave as a gift: Bread: River Cottage Handbook no. 3 by Daniel Stevens and Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro to Sarah as a belated birthday and Christmas gift.

The nearest book on my desk/table: La petite fille de Monsieur Linh by Philippe Claudel, but this book is Ros’s. If I look over my shoulder, there’s the bookcase with 100 or so books on it, with the most easily accessible one being Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, which I am borrowing from Kelly.

The last question is a funny one for our house. In addition to the bookcase, Ros and I usually have a book or two on the table, the book that I’m reading is usually somewhere around my armchair, and then we have various library books or books used for teaching strewn on the couch or beside bags. Then there are books in the kitchen, and books in the bedrooms. I wouldn’t be surprised if we have more books than anything else. Last night I found myself wishing I could read whilst knitting, but I listened to BBC Radio4’s The World Tonight instead.

What about you? Why do you love books? What are you reading now?

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