I never fit in at school. No, it’s true. We moved around a lot, you see. A lot. In my entire school life I attended 8 schools. In a 12 year school career, that is a lot of change; a lot of new people to meet, a lot of new friends to make, a lot of being behind the 8-ball when friendships have already been made and cliques are firmly ensconced.
I’m not sad about it. It is just what it is.
My mom loved books. My earliest memories are of her reading – either silently to herself or to me whilst I was sitting on her lap. And I treasure those memories.
Books became my friends in every sense of the word. They never judged me as the new girl with the funny accent (we moved countries a bit) and they were always there for me when I needed them most.
During my teenage years, when most girls my age were out with boys, plastering posters of their favourite pop idol onto their walls and hanging around at the shops, I could be found inside my bedroom, or under a tree in the garden on a nice day, reading a book.
I loved all kinds of books, but I particularly loved fantasy. Growing up in an alcoholic household probably had something to do with that. That need to be anywhere but in the chaotic existence I resided at that moment in time. I couldn’t wait to be transported to a world that was about as far removed from my own as you could get. I am still like that today.
When Harry Potter was published in 1996 my daughter was just 4 years old. I devoured it despite her being too young for it. In 1998, we moved to the UK and in 2000 there was an open audition call for children to star in the new Harry Potter movie to be filmed that coming summer. Such was my passion for the books, that I was devastated that I couldn’t audition myself (too old, you see) and my daughter couldn’t either as she was just too young. Oh to be a part of something so fantastical!
Bookshops are still my drug of choice. When my soul is feeling chaotic and mismatched, I only have to find a bookshop, preferably one with a coffee shop or a reading chair, and immediately I am at peace. I will walk around the shelves, running my finger along the spines, marvelling at the collective intelligence carried on the shelves. I will sniff (in a non-fettish kind of way, you understand) the pages and drink in the delight that promises to engulf me as I begin to read.
If I can’t find a bookshop, I am more than happy to reside in the library where they don’t mind that you are spending an inordinate amount of time reading a book you may never check out.
I dream of owning a bookshop. In a world that is increasingly seeing actual bookshops dwindle in favour of the online variety, it may be madness to have this dream. I don’t care.
In my dream it would be overlooking the sea, this small bookshop. It would contain two sections – new books and second hand books – books should know no barriers. I would have a coffee shop attached to it. In this coffee shop will be crafts that local people have made and in the corner would be a fire place for those cold winter days with two sets of sofas and a couple of chairs. We would have writing workshops, and author’s evenings (local of course), and poetry reading evenings too. There would be a book club, or two, or three. It would be a place where people come to read and connect in quiet solitude, bound together by their one true love – books.
This, my friends, is my version of heaven. This is where my soul would come to rest for the remainder of its days.
Books and I have a love affair. I don’t mind admitting it.
Is it the same for you too? I would love to hear about it if it is. Or perhaps you would like to write about and head on over to Leaf and Petal and add yourself to her linky. Don’t be shy now.