Reading Through The Stacks: Loyalty To Books

I’ve read 31 books this year. And started countless others.

Recent complete reads have been:

The Magicians

To me, this is Harry Potter on speed mixed with The Never-Ending Story. Maybe that’s just me. But it did end. And now I have to read the sequel. Damn.

13 Little Blue Envelopes

Because I too traipsed around Europe as a young person. And I have an Aunt who passed away, who kind of guides me through life. There aren’t any letters for me, though. Poems, but no letters.

I even met a weirdo. These days, I much prefer the geek I’m getting married to.

The Night Circus

Loved this one. Ten stars. I would say not my usual kind of book. But I’ve forgotten what my usual is. I suspect I read this at just the right time to be swept away.

Seven Up

Yes, I’m still reading this series. No, I haven’t lost count. or heart. Yet.


I read this because I was looking for another one of his, and I found this one. Read it cover to cover, which may not be the best way to read essays. I’ve thrown it at Sarge, but not before highlighting ones he should read.

Blood, Bones and Butter

Continuing on my memoir kick, I’d been waiting AGES to read this book. A bit of armchair travel here too, since Sarge and I have decided not to go out of the country until the honeymoon.


This is another one that can be filed under ‘escapist’. Kept imaging Wall-E. I figure I read grown up books when I was a young adult, so I can read some YA now.

And these are some of the books that are in various stages of unread around the house:

Before I Go To Sleep

I think I’m at the point just before it gets predictable. Having said that, I was reading this yesterday as Sarge came home from work,  he put the key in the door and I jumped so high my butt cleared my seat. Now, I know all about my heightened fright-reflex, but that was a little excessive.

A Discovery of Witches

Loving this.

How I Became A Famous Novelist

I consider this one research.


How many books are you reading now?

What keeps you reading to the end?

What makes you want to throw a book across a room?

Some of these are saying: Don’t forget to finish us, Lorna. We LOVE you!

A Schedule, Of Sorts

The closest thing I have to a routine these days is clicking through job adverts, and then clicking through Facebook and reading blogs before lunch.  All of this is fueled  by the zombie-coffee Sarge makes for me before he heads to work.  Depending on the mood I’m in/whether it’s a good hair day, he makes me two cups.  I finish one and take the other into the bedroom or on the couch to read.  Or I break out my green leather notebook and write.  Today, the notebook smells of oranges.  I have no idea why.  I usually write for awhile, stare at my computer files.  Then I crank up some music and do laps around the house.  Yes, really.  I might go down to Starbucks, while trying to avoid getting sucked into bookshops along the way.  I get home, write some more.  Tell at least six telemarketers that while we might need a new kitchen, we don’t own the place our kitchen is in.  Have a nice day.

Sarge gets home.  I talk a lot.  He talk not so much.  We eat and watch TV.  I might watch Don’t Tell The Bride while he works on stuff for our actual wedding.  We go to bed.  I get up again.  Stare at files and then a blank screen.  Or not.  I go to bed at two or three in the morning and then it starts again.

Visits with Dad and Anne are now on Saturdays.  We take a transit picnic on the train.  We arrive and conversation is split between Dad’s treatment/the state of his beard and the wedding.

Yesterday, I found myself looking for a job.  For four hours.  I may have sat on the couch and started to fizz.  ‘Apart from meeting you,’ I said to Sarge, ‘this isn’t what I thought my life would be.  How did I get here?’

That particular existential crisis ended in this:

I will write, on screen, every day from 1 pm to 6 pm.  I will finish things.  I will throw worry and doubt and telemarketers out the window.

I have three minutes to post this and get on with it.

So, what does your schedule look like?

Will Do Kegels For Cheesecake

Some more maybe not-so-little known facts about me:

I have a serious problem with spending money in places that don’t have accessible toilets, or  anywhere I have to move furniture to get around.  I engage Go Go (or not) Gadget Camel if the place sells books or cheesecake.  I’m weak.

Current obsessions include: Yankee Candles, escapist books, my father’s incredible shrinking tumour, episodes of Roseanne (before they won the lottery) and wedding blogs.

The highlight of my day yesterday was finding a bright orange mop you can throw in the wash.  I was immediately reminded of this.

I need a holiday.  Obviously.

I have one regret.  It is purely academic.  Really.

I want to open a bookshop and hire myself to work in it.

Popcorn is sacred.  And a food group.

I miss the days when people went down the street without texting or taking a photo.  Just live.

As I was saying, I recently took this:

On the way home from the train station.













Most of my actual writing these days happens in the green notebook Dad gave me.  While listening to Fleetwood Mac.  The notebook isn’t finished yet.  I should work on that.

Post inspired by the people behind 12 Books in 12 Months, Coffee and Chaos and The Terrain of Symmetry.  Because they kinda asked for it.

So, what would you do for cheesecake?

Space, Or Something Like it

I’m not claustrophobic or anything, but I’m beginning to think our place is too small.  It isn’t really; we just have too much junk.  I could speak only for myself, but I won’t.

A few weeks ago, Sarge spent a day or two making the Reading Room look, well, like a room.  He put photos up and everything.  One of them is actually a collage, because I have a crafty cousin who does that sort of thing.  I do not.

I was just happy to go into the room, do a few turns and leave without having to back out again.   I got dizzy after one too many figure-eights.  There was so much space!  No echoing, but lots of space.  Floor space, reading chair space.  And penguin space.  Jemima and Terence, together again.

I promised that I would clear as much from my writing space/the kitchen table.  Lots of dead trees/books, notebooks, vitamins, train tickets, post and paperwork mean that there is a Hemingway-shaped nook at the edge of the table.  For anyone trying to keep up, we actually eat at the living room table.

Now, I don’t use my wallet in the way that I should.  Money, probably more than I think, goes in the bottom of my bag.  Actually, several bags.  My wallet is for cards.  Expired cards.

I went through the piles.  Again. I found some useful things:


  1.  My wallet.
  2. My library card.  It wasn’t in the wallet.  For a few weeks, I’ve been using ID and a smile to take out books.  My card was at very bottom of pile number three.  Of course I used it  to add to book pile number 286.
  3. We need a shredder.  We probably have one somewhere.  But it isn’t in one of my piles.
  4. No fewer than 4 old notebooks.  Full of lists and random lines.  Six pages of ‘something’, ten pages of another thing.  Garnished with coffee-rings, highlighted lines and ‘NOTE TO SELF:  WTF is this?’
  5. Some sweets that I chomped while trying to decipher the aforementioned lines.


Some of the books are back on the shelves, either here or at the actual library.  Others have been relegated to the to-sell/give away sack.  Feel free to note that particular sad sack has not yet made it out of my building.

A box labelled ‘Personal Papers’ has been filled to the brim and stacked in the hall closet.  Someday, we will tackle the closet.  That day is not today.

Step 1 of The Book Purge. How many steps out the door?




Channel Hopping

Best laid plans of mice and me sometimes end up on the couch.  I didn’t make it to Dad’s today.  His instructions on the phone this afternoon?  ‘Wrap your menstrual hormones around some ice cream.  I’m going back to bed.’  My response?  ‘Why are you so NICE to me?’  And then I ate half a bag of Doritos.  Because I could.  It was mostly air, anyway.  And because we’re out of Ben & Jerry’s.  And because Mint Chocolate Chunk™ is not available in the UK.  Help that cause here.

Anyway, I spent most of the weekend reading and watching television.  I don’t watch much TV anymore, if it isn’t The Big Bang Theory.  However, I find myself recently fond of Revenge.  I cannot figure out whether this is because or in spite of Madeleine Stowe. After I caught up with that, I hopped a little and watched my first ever 20 minutes of The Real Housewives of New York.  20 minutes too long?  Maybe.  And then Sarge came home from helping some friends move house.  I admitted that I watched all or part of these shows, insisting that we improve the state of my brain by watching a thought-provoking film.  We chose This is Spinal Tap.  Then we watched the full-length extras.

On Sunday, I stretched myself by watching Federer win the Wimbledon Final.  Just in time to watch Ghostbusters.

On Monday, I took a break from this brain-freeze, which I blame fully on Lorna’s Festival of Cramps.  I was at the Jobcentre.  Because I need another day-job.

Reading The Best of Everything, which is about women who have day-jobs, is not the same as having one myself.

What’s your favourite guilty pleasure TV show?  Your secret is safe with me.

Ben & Jerry's
I need more of this in my freezer. Ben & Jerry’s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)