Booked!

As a young child I loved reading, but when I started secondary school, my enthusiasm dwindled. For me, a reading homework translated as ‘no homework!’ As time went on, reading became research and so I equated sitting with a book as studying and working, not relaxing. Then came children, and reading became oohing and aahing, touching and feeling. It’s only actually in the last couple of years that I’ve started reading for pure pleasure, and would rather sit with my head in a book than watch TV.

I’m very lucky that my children love reading, and through the way it is encouraged in school too, they both devour a great deal of books, and going to the library or Waterstones for a browse (and inevitably purchase!) is a treat they really treasure. I recently stumbled across this post by Melissa Taylor, and although as a teacher it was content that I was pretty much aware of, I was shocked that only 17% of parents of 9-11 year olds read to their children. I guess many assume that once they can read for themselves, children no longer have the need to be read to, and perhaps their desire to be read to becomes something that isn’t voiced on either side. If you asked my daughter (who is in this age category) what she would like to do, she would have a long list of requests that would probably not be related to books, but every evening we read, and every evening she just checks:

“Have we got time for you to read to me too?”

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When we read together we cuddle, she listens, asks questions, responds and most importantly enjoys the activity. She also enjoys snuggling up with her younger brother and doing the same.

It’s through this reading together that I’ve rediscovered how much I enjoy it too, by reading books again that I loved as a child (never diss Enid Blyton in my presence!) and for the first time in many years I’m finding the time to read for myself too.

I set myself the challenge last year to read 20 books over the course of the year, and I did achieve it (with 3 days to spare nonetheless!) but I found myself choosing books which I thought I could finish in time. I also chose a lot of free books making the most of my Kindle Lending Library, but reading shouldn’t be about numbers, so although I have a hunger to read every single book in the world ever, I’m making a really conscious effort this year to choose carefully and if that means I don’t read as many books, so be it. Reading time is quality time, so a mug full of Chai Latte tea in my Cath Kidston bucket mug, a comfy cushion and a good book is my idea of bliss right now. Rock and roll me! Send me your suggestions people!

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Our current selection!

 

Project 365 – Week 4

I’m still keeping going! Unfortunately I haven’t got around to commenting on all of your lovely pictures this week and I promise to try harder. I have been looking though and I’m thoroughly enjoying still being a part of #project365!

Here’s my week in pictures!

Day 19

I spend a lot of my work time driving between schools, but Monday was the annual staff training day and I swapped the usual rush hour traffic jams for this beautiful sunny winter walk. A great start to the week.

Day 20

When I finish work on a Tuesday I always have a mini sigh of relief because I work evenings as well as days on these two days, and it’s nice to think that I have my evenings free for the rest of the week. I celebrated with an early night with some guilty pleasure reading!

Day 21

My husband thinks I’m a right hoarder but I never got rid of the books I enjoyed reading as a child. I still have them all but now it’s coming into its own as my daughter is loving reading all my old Enid Blyton books and the like. The one in this picture cost me £1.50 in 1986! I think the modern editions have had some of the words changed to reflect modern times, but we don’t mind – it just means that sometimes phrases such as “Golly, 30 shillings – how simply wizard!” need a little translation!

Day 22

We decided we needed some fresh air after a stuffy day so walked our way to and from ballet, with a little pirouette stop en route!

Day 23

I never really enter competitions but I’ve tried to start doing the odd retweet here and there, you never know! So it made my day when I won a giant Toblerone thanks to their weekly Twitter giveaway. It arrived today and unsurprisingly I had two small volunteers to open it almost immediately!

Day 24

Date night! We’ve just started asking our neighbour to babysit – the children love her and she loves it too – result! So this was our first night out as a couple in so long and it was fab!

Day 25

Following most nights out come days in! We had a very busy Saturday so Sunday turned from a lazy morning into a huge roast dinner and a Lego type afternoon. Just what we needed!

I’m too late to link up to TheBoyandMe this week, but better late than never hopefully!

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I’m in Love…

…with my Kindle!

As a child I loved books, I was a complete bookworm, right up until I went to University. I’m not going to lie and say that all of the books were intelligent ones, I can’t resist a bit of chick lit or a celebrity’s autobiography, but I also loved to get my teeth into something with a bit more depth. I was very open to try different genres and styles of writing.

Then I went to University, and my social life (and the fact I had to read stupid amounts of intellectual books for research) took over, meaning I neglected one of my favourite hobbies. It’s only recently that I’ve been craving that escapism you feel when you get into a really good book, but unfortunately the children have other ideas of how I could best be spending my time.

Nevertheless, last week, I decided that it was time to free up some space on my bookshelves, and spookily, within an hour of this decision, I got an email from Amazon, suggesting I take a look at their trade in store, which I didn’t even know existed. I discovered that my books could actually be worth something, and ever the one for a bargain, I did something that I, hoarder of all hoarders never thought I would. I traded all of my old teaching books, from the time I did my PGCE up until only a few months ago. It seems they’re worth more to somebody else now than they are to me. I know I won’t be teaching for a few years, and education practice moves on so quickly, that by the time I ever do go back to it, my books would be out of date anyway. So I packaged them up and within a week I was holding my brand new Kindle. And it didn’t cost me a penny – result!

I feel quite strange that I love it so much, when I haven’t even put any books on it. I know there’s loads of free ones out there, and lots more that I’d love to try, but to all my Twitter lovelies, this is where you come in, and I’d really appreciate your help! Having not read properly for such a long time, I’d really appreciate any recommendations you’d like to throw my way, there’s no genres that are a no go! I’ve decided I’m going to work my way through the BBC Big Read Top 100 Books during 2012 (and probably 2013 and 2014 too!) but I want to read other things too (yes, even chick lit!), some of those little gems I’ve missed out on, so what’s your favourite book? Please help turn me back into the bookworm I once was!