Top 8 of Bookish Matters

Representation of the Sandman for the fairytale "Ole Lukøje" (Mr. Sandman) by Hans Christian Andersen

You know when you’re woken up at Silly-Hour by a nightmared-child, when he falls straight back to sleep with some comforting words and a hug but leaves you lying there for what seems hours, gazing at the gloomy ceiling, awaiting Mr. Sandman?.. When it’s too early to actually get up but sleep just seems to have left the building (well, yours anyway – aformentioned child is fast asleep!)  Well, what a fantastic opportunity, it turns out to be when needing peace and quiet to brainstorm ideas for new posts and pages on your blog.  I may be Tired’n’Grumpy Mum later on but at least Reading in the Bath gets a brand new, spanking page!

And now onto My Top 8 of ‘All Things Book’ (apologies for the bad grammar – what d’you expect, I was awake for an hour and a half in the night?! – but it does have a kind of ring to it, don’t you think…) not in any particular order:

1) The Harry Potter series – J.K.Rowling.

When the first book came out in 1997, I was a teacher at a primary school in Manchester, England.  My 8 year olds were desperate to read this book but it was above some of the children’s reading abilities, so I agreed to read it – under protest I have to add – to them.  Well, what a revelation that was. The kids and I were totally spellbound from the get-go!  Some days, if we knew the Head wasn’t around, we’d spend much longer than the suggested daily ’20 minutes storytime’ knee-deep in Hogwarts, Hogsmeade and Harry!

What’s not to love – Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans, Chocolate Frogs with collector cards, a magic castle, Platform Nine and Three Quarters, the Hogwarts Express, talking snakes, owls, witches, good vs.evil, quite a few mad professors, Severus Snape, Albus Dumbledore… I could go on and on!  My copies are so well-read that I may have to buy new ones soon but picking up one of my well-loved copies (my favourite being ‘The Half-Blood Prince,’ oh, wait, no, it’s ‘Goblet of Fire’ or… oh, I love them all!) is just like slipping on my favourite slippers and wrapping myself in a blanket with a mug of hot chocolate and extra marshmallows!

“You know, in the Muggle world, people just stay put in photos.”

“Do they? What, they don’t move at all?”  Ron sounded amazed.  “Weird!”

2) My Local Library.

I spend a great deal of time browsing the books in this Library – and although it may be small (we live in a small community,) it has the variety and up-to-date-ed-ness of a big town Library.  There is a park and playground behind the Library, and a creek running by the side of it.  It is surrounded by trees and wildlife (I spotted this parrot in the tree directly outside the door whilst returning books the other day,) and is a lovely, serene spot.

Rosella in the Bottle Brush tree

Aussie Totem Poles outside the Library window

There is a tree outside which has been partially cut.  That trunk ‘seat’ is just crying out for someone to come and nestle on it with their book and a cushion, don’t you think?..

3) Book Sales and the book section of a Charity Shop.

I get so excited when I hear that a local Church or school is having a Book Sale.  I clear my diary immediately (sports, school and family commitments be damned!) and look forward to the Sale like a 6 year old looks forward to Christmas.  What can be more thrilling that a room full of CHEAP books to browse and grab?  As these events are usually scattered with old ladies who yield their bags like weapons wanting to get onto the book tables before you do, I tend to grab anything that looks remotely interesting and then find a corner and go through them to find the ones I really want to buy.  I’ve found some real gems over the years.

My latest additions to the family

When I walk into a Charity Shop, I make a beeline for the book shelves (usually at the back, for some strange reason) to see what book bargains await.  It’s such a great feeling when you suddenly spot the spine of a book you’ve been wanting to buy or read for ages, and here it is for a fraction of the cost of buying it new.  Above are six of the books I’ve found lurking on Charity Shop shelves over the past couple of weeks – and now they’re here, on my overflowing book shelves, itching to be read!

Gotta love a Book sale!

4) Bookmarks.

I am rather partial to cute bookmarks.  When I was about 9, my Mum bought me a red leather bookmark and a ‘Book of Horse Stories for Girls.’  I wasn’t that much into horses so it took awhile to get through it as I kept reading my Enid Blyton’s inbetween each horse story, but the red leather bookmark stayed in the book at all times.  Even now, the smell of leather makes me think of that Horse book!  I no longer own a leather bookmark, red or otherwise but I do have plenty of others…

The bookmark my 4 year old son made for me.

5) Cuttings collector.

I’m addicted to book reviews, whether from magazines, newspapers, TV shows, blogs, Library newsletters etc etc.  I love Richard, Judy, Mariella, Jennifer and Dave (Spikey.)  I have a penfriend – yes, a ‘real’ penpal where we actually write letters with a pen and not a keyboard and use stamps and not just click a ‘Send’ button – who fuels my clipping lust.  Her envelopes are always bursting at the seams, full of reviews she has cut out of magazines and English newspapers for me.  I love them and usually want to read every book they mention.  I have a Wish List page on my account but I think I’ll buy a special little notebook to jot down all the books I’ve heard about that I have to read right now!

6) Charlotte.

Yes, I like pink!

After resisting the temptation and fighting against change for months, I gave in and asked Darling Hubby to purchase and pop into my Christmas stocking last year, a Kindle, who I’ve christened ‘Charlotte.’  I remember when he suggested years ago that we bought a digital camera to replace my old, much loved 35mm camera.  And remembering back even further, I think I was the last person in my school year to convert from records to CDs.  I am clearly not one for change… but once I’ve taken that step and committed that ‘crime’, I quickly become one of the converted.  Mind you, I still hanker after my coloured vinyl, limited edition Erasure 12″ and I do miss the excitement of greedily opening the envelope of photos from the Chemist before even leaving the shop!  I do have to confess though to loving Charlotte a little too much and do find that I tend to race through books faster when reading them on her BUT I know that I will never give up my paperbacks with their oh so comforting feel and smell.

You can almost hear the crack of the spine and reach in and turn thoses pages...

7) Gloopers.

In August 2007, I started a Book Group.  I capped it at 10 members so that everyone could have the opportunity to make their views heard at meetings, and so that we could all fit comfortably in each other’s houses, sitting around the wine, chocolates and nibbles!

A typical Gloopers feast!

We each take it in turn to open up our homes to host; the ‘reward’ being that if you host, you get to choose the next book.  We’ve had some really great books, and some not so great, as can be the case with any book you pick up.  We try to meet once a month, and it’s something I always look forward to.

Fault Lines - not one of our most popular reads

Home baked goodies at Gloopers

We discussed ‘Fault Lines’ on Halloween, so one of our clever members made Gingerbread Monsters!

8 Settling Down to Read.

Let the photos tell the story…

Comfy couch ready - check

Cuppa, chocs and book pile - check

Charlotte - check

Let the reading commence – Bliss…


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. debbie
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 20:25:12

    Hi Rhian
    Have just discovered your blog and have read it non stop, i love IT and am excited I am mentioned in it. Will most certainly indulging in some of the books featured
    love Deb


    • BryOak
      Nov 08, 2011 @ 21:18:49

      Hi Deb,
      So lovely to find you wandering around my little Blog. Did you open your birthday present early by chance??
      Welcome & make yourself at home 🙂
      Rhian x


  2. debbie
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 22:33:34

    I did, was’nt going to but i wanted to read the mag and review (which I loved by the way and am now trying to get the book), thanks a lot, you know me so well
    Deb x


  3. Marcia Lalanne
    Dec 07, 2011 @ 21:34:58

    Hi Rhian,

    Just been snooping around your blog, nice and interesting to read things that i didn’t know about you (but all exciting and good).

    Hope to read lots more and what your take on the next book will be…….

    I know you will know all about the book i am reading, after alot of pushing i have finally started Twilight…..

    See you around
    Marcia x


    • BryOak
      Dec 07, 2011 @ 21:40:27

      Hi Marcia,

      Yikes, makes me wonder what I’ve written now and what ‘interesting’ things you have found out about me!.. Thanks for coming over for a visit though. Hope to see you around my humble little Blog some more soon x


      PS) Now hurry up with your Twilights so we can try to squeeze in going to see Breaking Dawn en-masse, before they stop showing it… What took you so long to start reading them??


  4. Marcia Lalanne
    Dec 07, 2011 @ 21:46:46

    Didn’t think i would like them, thought they would be a bit teenagerish……. now just trying to find time to read them…..


  5. Fee
    Jan 06, 2012 @ 00:30:08

    Hey Rhian, just got home from work and checked your facebook page for your blog post so I could visit. How did I not know about this earlier????? Your blog is great!!! I don’t normally read Internet bl


    • Fee
      Jan 06, 2012 @ 00:33:46

      Silly iPhone already sent my post. I don’t normally read blogs because I am normally too busy reading a book, but your blog has given me some new authors to try out, which is great!!! Maybe we’ll need to start up a Ferny Creek book club??


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: