However, there is a downside to all this booklovin, and that is that i have
no space anywhere in my room. I have a 7ft floor to ceiling bookcase that is so crammed with books it looks like it might fall apart any second, i have them in stacks on my floor, in the bottom of my wardrobe, in my chest next to my bed that i can lay in rather comfortably when its empty... Sadly for my mother i am a hoarder, i have never gotten rid of any of my books, well atleast since i learnt to protest her going through my room while im at my dads and chucking stuff out. This causes constant arguements for several reasons 1) You cannot walk from one end of my room to the other in a straight line 2) it looks messy and lastly 3) Mum just doesnt understand because she is not a 'reader' the last book she read was when she was still in highschool. I know it sounds silly labling someone as a 'reader' but it is a way of life, you either read and love it or you dont. Its as simple as that, but her lack of understanding is what causes the most problems, mainly cause she wants me to take all my beloved books to the charity shop (The Horror!!!!)
As you can see my dear mum is clearly not the reason books are the second love of my life (right after food), the reason for that was my wonder and dearly missed
Nana Pauline, every saturday we would go to the libary and pick out books for the week ahead, we would read side by side... Me with my kiddies books and her with her crime drama's, we did this without fail every single week until she died. Now most people who read alot at a young age have given up by age 18, but aswell as the adventure she taught me was found in each new book, she also taught me to respect books... Which sounds rather silly, but unless i brought a book second hand (they are so much cheaper) not a single one of my books, has a weak spine or a torn page... even the ones from when i was younger dont have pen in. Well my poetry books have annotations IN PENCIL but poetry was made to be analysed and read outloud. This care and respect for my books makes them something of a familiar safe haven, when i miss her i can look at my book case and see all the prisitineness and remember all the lessons she taught me ones book releated and ones to do with life, and also remember all the good memories we had a little easier.
This post has a lot of sentiment for me because i feel that the books i've read have changed and shaped me in someways, every single book i've read is a new story, a new idea, a new way of looking at things, of learning things. Some books have actually taught me important life lessons,
Love That Dog by Sharon Creech for exaple taught me about grief and death after my grandad Doug died when i was seven. Its also a beautiful collection of poetry, and teaches about different forms of poetry. Its a really brilliant book, if you can get ahold of it.
Several books i've read recently have taught me about the horrors of humanity, not a very nice lesson to learn but one that needs to be learnt all the same. Some of these are fiction, like Lolita by Nabokov and The Collector by Fowles, both are incredible in the way that makes you want to vomit and never leave the house ever again. And then some are actual historical non-fictisious epics, like Former People by Douglas Smith and Into The Quick Of Life by Jean Hatzfield, both about genocides in completely different parts of the world almost seperated by a century. Yes the non-fiction is disgusting and makes you scared to think that these acts happened, all those people died just because some people thought what they stood for, was the correct way of thinking, and no one bothered to stop them. This weakness in human nature is almost accepted, people kill thats just a fact. The first recorded war was in 2700 BCE, and its believed that we were killing each other before we learnt to write. This is horrifying yes, but like i said we expect it from humans... If its been going on this long it must just be in our nature. The fiction side is more shocking and terrifying because it explores the sides of human nature we love to ignore, the sides that you cant believe exist in a normal human, the type of person who you would never believe could harm people. We dont learn from the killers in the real world who people say they cant believe they did it. But within fiction a good author can over exploit this trait and make it believable in a very sick way. In Lolita Humbert
Humbert functions at a completely normal level within human society yet in his mind he is viewing pre-pubescent girls as nymphlets who ask to be 'defiled', and in The Collecter Fred manages to kidnap a girl with no suspects and keep her hostage til she dies. Now your thinking but its just that fiction dont know why your naming it a lesson in the horrors of humanity, until you realize that these things happen all the time. In the UK alone there is always cases of kidnapping and murder, of peadophiles and rapists yet we ignore it, thinking if someone was bad we would know it. The truth is you dont know it, people can hide anything they want to and fiction exploits this so even compared to books about genocide, its only within fiction that it makes your stomach crawl.
Books also twist perceptions of romance, when i was a little girl i thought it would be simple, I'd meet some perfect prince, he'd be totally gorgeous and then we'd get married
happily ever after... Completely unrealistic btw. Now after reading more grown up takes of relationships you can see that even love thats portrayed as true within fiction has its difficulties which is so much more like my observations of real life relationships. Some books take that to the extreme and here is my top 10 Romance novels, even if you dont like romance genre give them ago because you will be surprised i promise.
1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte,
Not because Heathcliff is the perfect man, because he isnt, but because of how it looks at the parralels between love and relationships, and how society/taste influences who you chose as a prospective mate, and how love doesnt actually mean anything when it comes to relationships.
2. Skirrid Hill by Owen Sheers,
Yes its a collection of poetry, but it explores all aspects of love, from family to sex, from grief to happiness. Sheers is one of my favourite contemporary poets, and this collection really showcases why. PS I saw him do a reading live and it was incredible.
3. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes,
Yes its pure chicky nonsense, but it has bite and made me cry for hours after i finished reading it... Enough said.
4. The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald,
One of my all time favourite books, it shows how love in the wrong place and wrong time causes a huge amount of problems, and how eventually love doesnt conquer all.
5. The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
Shows how love doesnt come into relationships and when it does it all goes to shit, also includes racial/gender/gay issues so it covers a wide variety of social struggles, in a well formulated and wonderful book. Really a testament to Walkers skill as an author.
6. The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlane Harris
Good ol smutty vampire fiction, with kickass story lines and a strong female protagonist, also includes awesome accompanying TV show (well awesome for first 4 seasons)
7. Sins of the past by Mils and Boon,
My first and only Mils and Boon because lets face it they are crap, but we had to have one on here, because they are apparntly the pinacle of romance fiction (what crap)
8. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
A sick disgusting book, that you need to read, shows dark dimensions to realtionships and highlights how love is what you make of it, even if what you make of it is morally disturbing and creepy.
9. Ps I Love You by Cecelia Ahern
Another total chick book, that i love with every fibre of my being, and also shows how love continues after death.
10. The Good Father by Noah Hawley
Murder, guilt and a whole load of fucked up family.
This post has gotten crazy long and im still not done, just one more top 10 to go, and thats my top 10 all time favourite books/series. Its a crazy hard list because if i think of every book i've ever read most have been pretty epic. Also some of the more socially acceptable books will not be on here, because yeah they are great but there are some real hidden gems that i love more.
1. Lord of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
This epic series does not even need explaining i order you to read them ASAP.
2. The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter,
Fairytales rewritten in ways you've never thought of before.
3. Ariel by Slyvia Plath
I love Plath even though her poetry is very difficult to understand, Daddy will always be my favourite poem of the collection, fuck patriarchy.
4.Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Its a classic, its got romance, hatered, abuse and Heathcliff, he's the worst example of a bloke i've ever read about, yet he's completely irresistable.
5. The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlane Harris
It was my transition from teenbooks to grownup stuff, and will forever hold a fond place in my heart. Who doesnt love vikings?
6. The Collector by John Fowles,
Possibly the most disturbing book ever written, but so brilliantly written you cant put it down until the end. And what an end it is. So grim gives me nightmares constantly.
7. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Its another classic, and if you read it you will understand why it has stood the test of time, also everybody wants to party like Jay Gatsby.
Yes the original tanslation, old english is beautiful once you learn how to read it. Also its the original epic. You have to read this atleast once, whether translated or in old english.
9. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
the reason why most villians are called Machiavellian.
10. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
Adultry, death and love all set in the 50's, what more do you want from a book.
Right if your reading this, thanks for sticking it through and i hope you get some reading inspiriation. I decided to do a post completely dedicated to books because they are at the front of my blogs title. And sorry for the gap between posts, i've been rather busy lately!
Hope you enjoyed reading this, and come back to read my next post!