I love books. I love reading. I do not get enough time/make enough time to do it as I should. You can read about the ways I have got back into reading post-baby in my post Book Club Mum. We’ve even started a book club here through More Than A Mum in response to the comments on that blog entry. (Next meeting is 8.30pm, Twitter, discussing Caitlin Moran’s How To Be a Woman under #MTAM if you want to join us. Or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to join next time)
Anyway, I digress… I do indeed love reading and it is a passion that I share with Emily of A Mummy Too. Her passion has also dwindled and her post My Three Books – What are yours? explains how and why she lost contact with reading in spite of that passion and to rectify this she shares her favourite childhood, adulthood and parenthood book and asks others to do the same. So, here is my sharing!
This is actually quite difficult as although I am an English graduate and an English teacher I didn’t read for myself much as a child. My mother even made a worried appointment with the Head of my primary school about my lack of interest in reading, but was told that I’d come to it in my own time. He was right. The only thing that I can think is that my own reading skill did not match up to my interest level and the fact that my Mum and Dad were happy to read amazing novels to me at bedtime meant that I never wanted to pick up the things I could read. Perhaps for a long time I found reading to be a social, family activity rather than one you’d keep private? I can’t remember my actual reasoning, but I can remember starting to read only when I could manage the delights of Roald Dahl, which my Mum refused to read to me!
So here in lays my first choice. My childhood book is The Witches. I remember sitting outside our house in the sunshine reading that book and making sure I was just far enough away from the door that I could feign and inability to hear my mother’s calls to come inside. I wonder if my Mum knew that by refusing to read books to me it would make them doubly interesting. They’re clever people, you know, Mums.
There are so many books from which to choose here. In fact my husband and I so love books that we used book titles as table names at our wedding. Each table had a picture of the cover of the particular book as the table marker and menu. The amusing thing for us was that we sat people on books which we felt suited them. I am not going to go through the books we used or why people were sat at particular books in case any of our guests are reading, but suffice to say all the books meant something to us and us alone!
Anyway, my choice for Adulthood is hard. I have already written and re-written this post with three different choices here (To Kill A Mocking Bird, Harper Lee, 1984, George Orwell and Popcorn, Ben Elton if you’re interested) but my book for Adulthood is actually one that I have only recently read thanks to one of my book clubs: The Tennant of Wildfell Hall, Anne Bronte. There are many reasons why I have fallen in love with this book. Firstly it reminded me of why I love the Brontes and made me wonder why I hadn’t read poor Anne before. I am a lover of the gothic, romantic style that these sisters use and love it particularly in contrast with the saccharine stories of my most hated of female authors, Jane Austin. I loved it because it reminded me of being an A Level student again, when I read and loved Wuthering Heights, but more than this I was amazed by how modern and pertinent it was. It may have been written in the 19th Century but the lead female is strong independent and brave, and challenges the social stereotypes and taboos of the day in a way many women are unable to even today. She is a single mum, who has chosen to stand up to the male dominated society she inhabits. She is definitely More Than A Mum!
I adore the reading that I do with Munchkin. With children, reading is learning; reading is enriching; reading is powerful. We have read to Munchkin since she was born. She has had books around her since day one and I love the fact that when I was looking after a friend’s toddler for the day and whilst washing up from lunch I wondered why the room had gone quiet I popped my head round the door only to find the two of them engrossed in books!
To choose just one of the books that I have read with Munchkin seems impossible. There are so many great ones. The inimitable Julia Donaldson is obviously a part of the cannon, as are Eric Carle and Lauren Child. I love the old classics of Beatrix Potter and AA Milne as well as they come full circle and remind me of my own childhood. Munchkin goes through phases and we read the same two or three books for days and even weeks on end, driving us nearly potty at points, but still I love reading with her. My favourite book for this category though has to be one of the first that she experienced and one that I have read over and over more times that I can remember: Pants, by Nick Sharratt. It is funny, scans beautifully and has fantastic artwork, and with the line “No Pants At All” it’s a little bit naughty!
So there are my three books:
CHILDHOOD: The Witches, Roald Dahl
ADULTHOOD: The Tennant of Wildfell Hall, Anne Bronte
PARENTHOOD: Pants, Nick Sharratt
I hope this has inspired you to think about your own favourite books and your own reading. If it has, pop and see A Mummy Too and have a go yourself.
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