Archive for the ‘Readers’ lives’ Category

So. Three months later than planned*, I’m posting some of the writings that padded out the quieter moments of my family jaunt to visit friends in Spain. In (cringe) October. Immediate I am most definitely not. And I wonder why I just can’t take to Twitter…

My introduction to the great Sebastian Faulks

Alan Bennett: Mum's quiet-time companion

Of late, Alan Bennett has come to enjoy an almost godfather-like status in our family. He pops in (well, into conversation) during most of our gatherings – my Christmas 2008 gift to mum was a signed copy of his The Uncommon Reader – delivering advice and regaling tales of old Yorkshire and his own ‘mam’.

As well as Seb Faulks, I had my head buried in Jim Cartwright’s Road, devouring lines in preparation for November’s run of the play at Bath’s Rondo Theatre while Malaga’s insects devoured me.

Between The Rotters' Club's covers: my brother's brand of escapism

And of course we were surrounded by Spanish writing. While we tried our darndest to piece together shameful half-phrases and exclamations, the brilliant typography and stunning layouts (not to mention the illiterates’ joy, the pictures) punched through our linguistic ignorance. Viva municipal warnings!

Room 4: Aspirational apartment lit (well, that's what the photos suggested)

* In my defence I have been relearning to ride a bike and re-reading Jacob’s Room. Productive, no?

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Being a child of the ’80s, I face a daily battle to suppress my innate love of the Diana Spencer-style bouffant (of hair and clothing), synth pop and cheesy workout videos. My only places of refuge from the otherwise relentless temptation to buy a ticket for the Spandau Ballet reunion tour are the midst of library queues and the dark depths of second-hand book shops, where the term ‘slouch sock’ could only refer to the dust cover of a hardback that got left out in the rain. In these blessed sanctuaries, the 1980s never happened. Or so I thought…

Terrifying. But brilliant.

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Congratulations and the bumps to The Big Green Bookshop in London’s Wood Green, which turns one this week. The indie book seller opened its doors in the wake of the local Waterstones shutting up shop because, apparently, “people in Wood Green don’t read.”

This video of the Big Green volunteers (uploaded by the Big Green gents to YouTube) whipping the place into shape makes the prospect of swapping your desk chair for a library ladder more appealing than ever…

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