For August I read and blogged about books related in some way to landscape. Some just had a landscape term in their title and some were about different landscapes both here and even on Mars. I enjoyed most of those I did read and, as usual, I have some spare titles which I will include in future months.
For September I am reading books about relationships in all forms. Not all of the books will be biographies and memoirs but I suspect that I will read quite a few of those. I have quite a hefty list already so I expect that I will be able to post quite a few blogs during the month.
August was the first month in which I was retired and I thought that not having any outside commitments would greatly increase the number of books I finished during the month. In fact, to my surprise, I seem to have read fewer than usual. I am not quite sure what to make of this as I was unaware that I was reading less. Maybe I have spent my time on longer or more complicated books ? I wonder if it will be an ongoing pattern or just a blip – I shall wait and see. I had hoped greatly to reduce my to-be-read pile of physical books in retirement but a couple of charity shop trips with friends (Carol and Sara are my allies in book buying here) plus the discovery of a cheap and well stocked charity bookshop in Thornbury have resulted in me acquiring considerably more paper books than I read in the month. This is not really what I intended !
When I left work I was delighted to receive some excellent presents which were specifically purchased with my interests in mind. Included with them were a £55 Amazon voucher and a £20 book token. I also had a Waterstones £10 voucher earned and ready to spend. Oh, the unspeakable joy of having guilt free money which can only be spent on books ! Every book reader will know what I mean.
I keep a long and varied Amazon wishlist and another list on my phone of books I have seen and want but have not yet bought. Having an Amazon voucher meant that I could look through both lists and find the books I wanted now. I could look at their price on Kindle but also via Amazon Marketplace where you can buy secondhand physical copies which are usually cheaper than even the Kindle version. I had a full evening of enjoyment wading through lists and trying to work out what had attracted me to these books and which fitted my current mood. In the end I bought 16 books with my £55, most of which were paper.
I then had to go out into the world and look at real books to spend my tokens. I chose the Read independent bookshop in Holmfirth for the book token. You can find information about them here. They have a small shop but cram in lots of books, mainly in contemporary and literary fiction. They also have a large children’s section. I got three, new paperbacks for just over £20 and took a chance on some titles I had never heard of before. I also visited Waterstones to spend my £10 voucher and with a bit added I bought two new books there. That’s 21 books bought with my tokens and nearly 30 from various charity shops and a quick trip to The Works when in Taunton. That’s a crazy number of new books in one month, especially considering how many books I already own which I have not read.
There is a theory that book buying and book reading are two different hobbies and unconnected. This is not entirely true but it is true that I am capable of buying many more books than I can reasonably read. You do, however, have to understand that just owning books, just sitting and looking at them and anticipating reading them makes me very happy. Sitting among my books has a calming effect. Planning which ones to read next and in what order is an enjoyable pastime. One of the joys of the Internet was discovering that I am not alone in feeling like this – I frequently read posts from others who feel exactly the same way.
I now have a lot of books to read and time in which to do this. I have a huge physical pile of books and a stuffed Kindle. I will try not to buy many more books until I have read a large proportion of these and I’ll keep blogging about what I am reading whether the book is new or old and whether I enjoy it or not. As I head further into retirement I know that one thing I will do is keep on reading !