Sunday, 22 May 2016

Reading Material

We all have dreams, right? This is a bit silly, but one of my dreams from a young age was to have my own bookcase. This seems like a simple thing to want, but somehow we never had the space for me to have my own bookcase growing up.

A short while ago, my simple dream became a reality. I've been living with the future Mr for almost a year now (has it really been that long?) and we finally made that trip to Ikea to get a couple of their 7ft tall (ginormous!) bookcases. My behaviour, from going to Ikea to getting the furniture delivered and built, was that of a kid in a sweet shop. All my beautiful books, which have lived in boxes, wardrobes or split between my new home and my parents' place, now finally have their own home, where I can look at them, have them readily available and order how I please. A bibliophile's dream come true, right?

I read the usual books as a child, especially fantasy: Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton, Narnia, and of course, Harry Potter, which quite honestly changed my life. Following on from Harry, I sought out books to fill that Harry-sized hole, but eventually I fell into a reading slump. I had reached that awkward age where I felt too old for kid's books but thought that adult books must be boring. Perhaps now, with the abundance of YA on the shelves, things would have been different, but instead, my studies and my discovery of the internet took up most of my time.

Over a period of two or three years, the most riveting thing I read happened to be Twilight, until the final book of the series put me off for life. There was a stream of half-read books, pulp fiction that people told me to read, and books that had been given to me but that I just didn't bother with. Suddenly, the girl who loved to read had become a listless eighteen year old too interested in watching bad TV shows. I felt like I'd lost a big part of who I was.

It was in my final year at university when a chain of events took place that led me to want to rediscover myself and my interests, and the reader in me made a vow to finish every book I picked up, and that I would read all of the so-called classics. There were just too many lists of "books to read before you die" for me to carry on without delving deeper into the world of literature. And do you know what? Four years later there have only been two books I have abandoned. It's not a bad knock.

I also managed to put my time-wasting on the internet to good use. Tumblr turned out to be a good way to discover new reading material, as the sort of people I followed were fond of reblogging literary quotes and poetry, and discussed great literature regularly. My shelves gradually filled up with everything from the Bront√ęs to the Beat Generation. Some books I liked, some I was indifferent to, some I absolutely adored. I have such a long reading list of books that have stood the test of time that it's difficult for me to incorporate more recently released works, but I managed to squeeze in a spot of YA along the way (The Hunger Games and The Fault in our Stars were perhaps the best, and the sort of books that can still appeal to someone who no longer takes much interest in teen fiction). I've probably only made a dent in the "books to read before you die", both classics and more modern treasures, but I can certainly say that my collection is slowly growing and great novels have been ticked off my list. So if you're in a similar situation to what I was in a few years ago, take a trip to your local thrift store and pick up a few books that catch your eye, or else check out bookish social media sites such as Goodreads (or Tumblr, or Pinterest, or search hashtags like #bookstagram over on Instagram). You may be surprised by what you find and be able to kickstart your reading habits again.

Happy reading :)