Top Ten Tuesday- for the Love Of Books- sort of.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book blogging initiative hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl with new themes each week.

This weeks theme is Outrageous/Crazy/Uncharacteristic Things I’ve Done for the Love of Books.

Hmmn, to be honest in the words of Danny Glover ‘I’m too old for this {bleep}’, the nearest I’ve got to this is midnight openings to buy a few books and staying up late to finish them which I don’t find that outrageous.

Soooo I’ve gone along the theme BUT conveniently forgetting some words.

The Love Of Books.

1. Books accompany some of my earliest memories

End Papers to a Lady Bird Disney Book.

I remember wanting to fall into my Colours book when I was a toddler.

I remember basically learning to read by myself by sitting on my bedroom floor listening to ‘are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin’ with the ding to turn the page.

I remember the way the pink and coral bloom on the end papers of Ladybird Disney books made me feel.

2. Books inspired the creative play that shaped my imagination

book cover of an omnibus edition of Gallianos circus stories

I remember acting out stories in books with my Barbies and in the garden making potions like The Worst Witch with flowers and wanting to learn to walk on my hands like Carlotta from Mr Galliano’s Circus.

I remember wishing I could find the Magic Faraway Tree in the nature reserve near our house so I could eat pop-cakes with Moon-Face and Silky.

3. Books helped me cope with Bullying and feeling different from other children.

Book cover of Matilda by Roald Dahl

I was a precocious reader, I could read before I went to school and tired of Roger Red Hat and Spot immediately and was moving onto Middle Grade probably before I was emotionally ready because there wasn’t really any bridging books available to me other than Jill Murphy and Dick King Smith both of whom didn’t last long before I needed more.

I struggled with my peers as I didn’t know how to be ‘cool’ and self sabotaged myself as a ‘boring boffin’ every time I opened my mouth in class. So I retreated into the world of books and imagination.

I read Matilda when I was in infants and identified strongly with her, not the parents angle, but certainly feeling like you don’t quite fit in and then the telekinetic powers sparked my imagination. I remember staring at glasses of water and begging to make them move so I could be like Matilda and feel special.

Maybe if my secondary school librarians had shoved Harry Potter at me instead of worthy adult fiction I would’ve come out of my teens better than the Mean Girls nightmare I inhabited.

4. Books helped me cope with chronic pain

The book cover of Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend
Nevermoor is an ideal pain in the bath book for me, I’ve read it, loved it and it takes me to magical places. Perfect hug in a book

Between the ages of 12 and 15 I had acute intense pain during my periods, so bad I got rushed to A&E several times for collapsing and eventually hospitalised for investigations that came back with the recommendation to go on the pill to help with the pain.

At that time (and since) reading in the bath, usually a book I know, have read before and love so it doesn’t require much brain power to slip into the imagination as I’m already invested has been my go-to for coping with intense pain. So there’s been considerable times in my life, my early teens, after Tinyfae was born (C-section) that books in the bath were part of my coping strategy and I’m grateful for that.

5. Books helped me find myself again when I had lost myself

Book cover for Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

When I was a teacher I barely read anything other than non-fiction in the school year. Every Summer I would reread the Karin Slaughter series in order before the latest release as a sort of ‘decompression period’ but I could barely fit in time to eat let alone read with the responsibilities I had and no work based support.

However when I got pneumonia, which was partly due to burn out-I was so poorly I was unable to go back to work for 6 months, and once I was out of the dangerous zone, daytime telly was maddening so I started reading, Percy Jackson, Lynda La Plante and more and it helped rebuild my love of reading I’d pushed aside to cope and I realised I could read what I loved rather than reading what people thought ‘worthy’ or cultured.

I experienced the same thing with a resurgent love for Middle Grade and YA after Tinyfae was born after an emotionally challenging pregnancy.

6. Books helped me see something special in someone

A collection of Harry Potter merchandise

I wasn’t a Harry Potter fan before my husband. I’ve written about this before but basically a shared love of reading these stories helped build a foundation.

7. Books help my children to see wonder in their world and become book lovers too.

A selection of Littlefae’s favourite books earlier this year.

I found both my girls have been fascinated with books since babies, and it’s pretty much drummed into them both ‘Reading is what? Fundamental’ (though perhaps not quite the same sentiment as Mama Ru!!)

They have a wide and diverse book collection that we can draw on and build their imaginations- so much that both love to tell their own stories or songs.

8. Books help me express to my girls feelings and experiences I want them to share

Book cover for Blueberry Girl by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess I know I can come across a little cold, even snobby at first in real life, a lot of this is self-doubt and crushing anxiety left over from bullying. I sometimes worry if my girls think this about me too.

But I try to find and give them books which express just how I feel about them like Blueberry Girl and to share books that made me glow in childhood with them too so they may ‘get’ me and they may glow too.

9. Books help me and my children to learn and to teach each other

We have quite a few educational books and workbooks but I’m always on the look for more- we very much enjoy DK, Walker and Usborne non-fiction books for their educational value and inspiration.

I’m grateful for the worlds we can visit and things we can discover thanks to books and that they can lead on a treasure hunt of information spinning a tapestry of knowledge.

10. Books inspire and make me glow

Some of my favourite books from March

Ever since I picked up the Magic Faraway Tree as a child I’ve had books that have made me glow and have inspired, informed and shaped me.

Even the books that don’t make me glow, just make me think about new things or look from a different perspective I’m grateful for the inspiration, the escapism or the challenge they offer.

They add colour and magic to the world.

Ok, you can see I broke the rules of this week but maybe that tells you more about my love of books than some ‘uncharacteristic’ craziness?

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21 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday- for the Love Of Books- sort of.

  1. Lovely post. My grandad used to tell me stories based off The Magic Faraway Tree as a child and I think that’s why I love writing stories now.

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  2. This is such a beautiful post, and a brilliant take on this theme. I didn’t really like the original prompt either, and definitely couldn’t come up with any answers for it. The main reason why I love books is the escapism factor: I have a long term health condition and they are the perfect way to escape things on the tougher days. 💜
    Amy x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad I wasn’t the only one to not get on with the original prompt!!
      Books are pure magic even if they are about mundane things. We all wanted a portal to Narnia at the back of our wardrobes, but we have portals to millions of worlds in our hands instead! I’m sorry to hear about your health condition, I can empathise and know how important that immerse and escape can be xx 💜

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  3. As someone who lives with chronic health issues, I can really appreciate how books can get your through such a hard time. I also have to say that the end pages brought tears to my eyes. I relate to that one so much – so beautiful. What a lovely list – my favorite I’ve read today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! I’m sorry you have chronic health issues but glad how books help you too.
      Those little Ladybird books are one of my strongest early childhood memories and I’m so glad we still have some for my daughters to enjoy too. x

      Like

    1. It would have been, a huge swatch of vibrant block colour on one side of a double spread. I adored it especially the purple page which was so purple I could almost taste it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is such a lovely post to read and definitely one for your girls to read when they get older.
    Sorry you’ve had some challenges, but glad you’ve had books to help you through.
    I can relate to so much of this – from the ding to turn the page to books and baths to never reading while teaching to seeming cold and snobby to sharing the bookish love with the babe to both finding and losing myself in pages to…well you get the idea. Again, a lovely, lovely post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is such a beautiful list! Thank you for sharing such personal insights about your love of reading and how it’s impacted your life. While I thankfully have never had to deal with chronic pain, I did suffer from asthma for much of my life and spent a large part of my childhood in the hospital. Reading was my lifeline, the one thing that could always comfort me and take me away into a completely different world. ❤

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