Thursday, 3 March 2011

World Book Day or What are you reading?

I am grateful to Wikipedia for the following information: The connection between 23 April and books was first made in 1923 by booksellers in Spain as a way to honour the author Miguel de Cervantes who died on that day. This became a part of the celebrations of Saint George's Day (also 23 April) in Catalonia, where it has been traditional since the medieval era for men to give roses to their lovers and since 1925 for the woman to give a book in exchange.
In the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, World Book Day is held annually on the first Thursday in March. Although it might be argued that this makes it more a 'UK and Ireland Book Day' than a World Book Day as such, it was decided to avoid the established international 23 April date due to clashes with Easter school holidays. World Book Day UK began in 1998, launched by Prime Minister Tony Blair. In 2011 it will be held on Thursday 3rd March.

I thought I’d look at what I was reading in 1998 (because even I don’t go back as far as 1923).
In 1998 I read 17 books and four of those recorded were read aloud to Eldest (she’d have been four). To myself I read Leslie Thomas, Terry Pratchett, Nick Hornby, Helen Fielding, Arabella Weir, P.D.James, A.A.Milne, Philippa Gregory and Georgette Heyer. Largely light and funny novels, but also Libby Purves’ How Not to Raise a Perfect Child which was both tongue in cheek and helpful! To Eldest I read Dodie Smith (her two delightful Dalmatian stories), P.L.Travers’ Mary Poppins, and an odd little book called The Log of the Ark, a retelling of Noah’s Ark. At this time the girls shared bunk beds and Youngest got a story book of her choice first and then fell asleep while I read a chapter of a ‘proper’ book to her big sister.
Over the years we worked our way through the Puffins lurking on my bookshelf since childhood and added in some more recent authors. J.K.Rowling and Eoin Colfer are family favourites: we’ve read them individually, aloud and listened to them on tape and then CD!
Today I am reading Things I Want My Daughters to Know by Elizabeth Noble, my tenth book of the year. It’s not a competition, but I am amused to see that as the girls have got older, so that I rarely now read to them, I have found more time to read to myself, often while waiting for them to complete a ballet/swimming lesson. The three of us always have a book on the go. Husband also reads, but it’s more likely to be The Economist, military history or a Maths book.
What are you reading?

13 comments:

Sarah said...

I'm reading free e-books on my Kindle. Mostly suspense novels from the early 20th century.

I cannot remember what I read in 1998 and never keep a written record so it's lost forever. Not that it makes much difference...

A Time for Stitching said...

Hello Hausfrau, This is Teresa from A Time for Stitching. First, I must apologise for not looking you up before from my 'followers' list and say that I'm now glad I did!
I love your writing style and the huge variety of goings-on that you write about. I wouldn't worry about not having a clear purpose for your blog because your funny, witty writings just stand on their own (I have purpose but no style). Go ahead and write your book is what I say. Talking of which, I have almost finished reading The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, then I'll be able to watch the series I recorded before Christmas. I wish I'd kept lists of the books I've read. I did last year and was disappointed to find I'd only managed 14.
Teresa

hausfrau said...

Hello Sarah, I've never actually seen a Kindle in operation and bow to your techiness! Knowing what you read is hardly useful but I confess I find it interesting: it is a window on my changing world without comment and thus without interpretation.
Welcome Teresa, thank-you for your kind words! I haven't tried Ken Follett. To generalise dreadfully I read more male writers in my twenties (Leslie Thomas, Robert Ludlum, Len Deighton) but am reading more women writers now and that implies more domesticity I think, a greater interest in motivation/relationships than in excitement/the wider world.

Sarah said...

Needs must when you live abroad without easy access to an English-language library. I love my Kindle :)

projectforty said...

I'm reading Jonathan Franzen's 'Corrections' after reading his latest 'Freedom' which I got for Christmas. I have an iPad so have been downloading free classics as and when I think of them for future dipping into. I wish I was as methodical in recording my reading. invariably I either forget the title or the author or both!

I'm Crayon said...

I hadn't started my book log back then but considering the ages my children would have been I was probably reading something short! Currently reading My Life in France by Julia Child and Play Dead by Harlan Coban. If you enjoy Coban, it's a book he wrote when he was 23 so it's fun to read for that reason alone!

Fran said...

I also had a parenting book by Libby Purves when my kids were small (it may have been the same one, but I can't remember) and it was a scream. She is very funny.

Wylye Girl said...

I've just finished reading The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards which I really enjoyed. I've just started reading Immediate Response which was ghostwritten by AModernMilitaryMother who follows my blog. It's certainly an education.

hausfrau said...

Lovely to hear from you all and have some new authors to add to my list of things to try! I have discovered over the years that my lists are useful. Sometimes they let me recommend something or rediscover an author or make it clear that it isn't just deja vu I really have read this book before -something I did recently with Nora Ephron. It's not that I don't like to read things twice - I have read Georgette Heyer again and again along with Jane Austen and JRR Tolkein, to name the most re-read - but I don't want to 'waste' time re-reading just cos I didn't realise... I should add re Libby Purves that she also writes a pretty insightful novel!

Perpetually In Transit said...

At the minute I'm re-reading Georgette Heyer's False Colours, having just splurged out on some secondhand copies from Amazon to fuill the gaps in my collection. After that I plan to read another by Donna Leon A Venetian Reckoning or one of M G Trow's Maxwell books. Choices, choices...

I've only just discovered your blog, hausfrau, and look forward to carching up with it.

hausfrau said...

Welcome P-i-T, it's good to find someone else who reads Georgette Heyer. Those who've heard of her but not read them tend to look down their noses in my experience, but I love her historical detail and her wicked sense of humour.

Perpetually In Transit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Perpetually In Transit said...

And her style and narrative ability, hausfrau. One of the main reasons I and my husband and daughter keep coming back to her books is that she wrote so incredibly well. Her stories just hook you in and sweep you along.