I’ve always loved reading. As a child, books always seemed to be in my hand. I loved the smell of paper and print. Bookshops drew me like steel filings are drawn to a magnet. As soon as I stepped through the door I was transported to the worlds that my imagination conjured up inside my head.
‘When I only begin to read, I forget I’m in this world. It lifts me on wings with high thoughts.’
The same thing happens on opening a book by chance, perhaps in a second-hand book shop, and the book falls open at a certain page; then I find myself wondering if this was a favourite page of the original owner so I’m compelled to read on a little further until ultimately I have to buy the book so I can read it completely. Consequently my book shelves contain hundreds of volumes. Some are certainly the worse for wear, but all are familiar friends with whom I’ve travelled many miles.
When my late husband and I decided to move to Cyprus, we never contemplated leaving our books behind. Fifteen years ago they all returned to UK, well-travelled, but not abandoned. Someday I may have to find other homes for them if I decide I need to downsize, or as one of my late friends said, to declutter. She and her lifetime partner made it a rule to move house every two years so they never gave themselves time to gather the detritus that inevitably ends up gathering dust. Trouble is, I get comfortable and I’ve grown fond of my clutter.