I have no shame in admitting that I am a devoted bookworm and have been ever since I learnt to read. When other children were reading a book a week, I was racing through one a night.
We have a standing joke in our house that when it comes to children being born whilst most women are early because they are nosy (oddly enough, this was my Dad’s perspective…), I was ten days late because I was too busy reading. If my parents ever lost me at home, they’d eventually find me tucked into a corner with a copy of Mallory Towers, the Pony Club books, Roald Dahl or just whatever my hand had landed on first in the bookcase.
Little has changed as I have got older. I’m now most likely to be found with my Kindle rather than a physical book although that doesn’t mean my shelves have got any emptier. My flat has one double and one single tall Billy bookcases from Ikea and both are full. This fact is unlikely to ever change.
I have never understood people who say “oh, I’ve read that already”. I read books over and over and over and over… Part of this is necessity, I don’t have enough money to buy a new book every time I want something to read! I speed read, I always have so books, even Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix which came in at a whopping 766 pages, only took me a few hours.
But to not read a book again seems like sacrilege to me. Would you say to your friends “Oh I’ve spoken to you already”? Because books may never change but my interpretation of them changes depending on the mood I am when I read them and also the age I am. I have a box full of books in the garage which I haven’t read since I was maybe fifteen and were on loan to various family members with young girls in the family and I’m looking forward to a day reading them, seeing how they make me feel now as opposed to then.
One of the things I love most about the written word is that it will never let you down. I go back to certain books over and over because I know the ending, I know the characters and I can get lost in the escapism that they provide. They are never going to hurt me, they are never going to let me down, they will never be too busy, they are the perfect companion.
In many ways, books are better friends than people can ever be. They may not be able to give me a hug but they can provide an escape from a real world that can sometimes be too cruel to bear.
Average Josephine x