Today is World Book Day. The project is aimed at children and in developing their love of books. The school or nursery registers with the site and at some point the book tokens arrive and are shared, presumably between the children who then go to a book store and use the voucher against a nominated book. I don’t know too much about the scheme, other than what I have read, as I don’t have any children.
What I do have is a lot of books. Reading was encouraged in my childhood. I would happily sit on my Mum or Grandmother’s knee and be read to and enjoy, time and time again the wonders of Enid Blyton and Beatrice Potter. My favourites from Enid Blyton were the series of Noddy books, and those about Mr Twiddle.
I still have some of these books, complete with price tickets on showing the price of 12p. I was also rather fond of Rupert the Bear and the lovely yellow hard back covers. Happy memories.
I have no idea what is was about books that made me so enthused with them. I loved Lego as a child, but no longer have my original set or have purchased any for a trip down memory lane. Yet, books and bookshops are a love, perhaps even an obsession. I love nothing more than glancing through old books, perhaps a bookshop or market stall. New books too are wonderful, but they are brand new and have really no history to them. An old book has is pre-loved! and if only it could talk. What secrets would it share of a former owner?
There does though, come a time when ever a serious book lover has to consider a cull of books. Back in 2005 I culled around 100 of my collection – mainly fiction that had been read once and then destined to the shelves. In 2008 I had another, more serious cull – around half the collection. This time a mixture of fiction and non fiction. Non fiction acquired from my degree and training and further studies. I have to say though, I did feel bereaved. Do I still have the first book that I personally bought? I have no idea; I can not even remember what it would have been. I can probably guess though where I bought it. A fabulous, long since gone bookshop in Guildford called Thorp’s.
What is left resides on a series of book shelves – 3 in my study all full, one in a spare room completely full and holds specific books – a series of fiction books and my Italian and Thyroid collections. In the hall is a further bookcase filled with my collection of cookbooks, my set of Elm Creek fiction books by Jennifer Chiaverini and a shelf holding my collection of old books featuring the Bellasis, Bowring and a few others. In our lounge we have another bookcase filled with hubby’s collection of angling books and our antique books. That all seems fairly organised. There is also in my study a rather large pile of books awaiting reading. As we ponder about downsizing I am not looking forward to further contemplations of having another book cull.