With Beaufort’s book off out into the world, it feels like it’s time to return to the pressing questions this blog concerns itself with. Subjects like the hefty challenges we wrestle with in life. The ways in which we navigate the world, and the meaning behind them. Thoughts on how we live now, and how we should aspire to live. In depth analyses of–
Wait – no, that’s not this blog. I meant the really important stuff. Like how to make the perfect cup of tea, and what you should do if you want to adopt a dragon, and life advice from cats. Things that are of actual, practical use in the world.
But, really, it’s for the best. No one should be taking life advice from me. Today I’ve already knocked over my water twice, walked into the kitchen for a sandwich and left with two chocolate digestives instead, and am currently sitting on the floor in a dog bed (no, I don’t own a dog. Yes, I buy dog beds for my floor-sitting comfort. Half the price of floor cushions and wonderfully squishy), wearing sticking plasters on two fingers and one thumb due to a lemon-cutting mishap. I am not to be trusted.
However, I can offer you a completely un-useful yet hopefully entirely relatable list about the life of the booklover. Which, if not useful, should at least pass the time while the kettle boils.
Read on, fellow booklovers!
The A-Z of the Booklover’s Life
A – Autobiographies. Where your preconceptions about your favourite people are shattered, and you resolve to never read anything about anyone you like ever again. Ever.
B – Books, obviously. If you were questioning what it stood for, I question why you’re reading this list. (Not really. I left B blank until I finished the list, because apparently wood, trees, etc.)
C – Crying. What we do when our favourite series ends, and/or the horrible author kills off the dog (no, I have still not forgiven you, Mr Koontz.)
D – dog. The presence of which fills us with a creeping sense of dread, because the dog has to live. If it doesn’t, well – see C) above. And possibly S), below.
E – Endings. We do not like them. Or we do, because we want to know what happens, but we don’t, because now we have to leave this world and join the outside one. Ugh.
F – Fear. Of the dog dying, obviously, but also of running out of things to read, resulting in TV-show-worthy hoarding of both physical and ebooks.
G – Guilt. Often brought on by not finishing a book, or finding that, to us, the ‘must-read’ books of the year are as much fun as cleaning the fridge drawers. Easily assuaged by returning to books we actually enjoy, whether they’re critics’ choices or not.
H – Hoarding. Which it isn’t if it’s books. It’s collecting. And if anyone disagrees they can come and try digging me out from behind my book fort.
I – Impulse buys. A large contributor to the hoarding/collecting problem, as well as to G). Not helped by the fact that one-click purchasing exists and I somehow can’t convince myself to switch it off.
J – Jealousy. Often experienced when spotting a ridiculously attractive reading set-up on Instagram, usually styled by a ridiculously attractive human. Naturally, such things bear no resemblance to our own worn corner of the sofa, under the lamp with the shade that never stays straight, where we huddle beneath a tatty blanket while scattering cookie crumbs on our oversized, tea-stained jumper and muttering dire threats to the authors of dogs. But I bet our cookies are better.
K – Killers. Things we read about with far too much frequency, and which lead us to have an uncomfortable level of knowledge regarding poisonous plants, ingenious traps, and body disposal.
L – Love. What we have for books, fictional people of all species, and the joy of stepping out of our world and into another for a while. Also leads us to rambling discourses if someone foolishly says, “So, read anything interesting lately?”
M – Movie adaptations. Regarded with anything ranging from outright horror at the desecration of a favourite tale, to grudging acceptance that the filmmakers might have kind of maybe sort of done a halfway decent job. Ish. Although that won’t stop us from pointing out all the bits that were different in the book.
N – Names. Such as the wonderfully well-crafted titles of books and stories that pull us in before we’ve read a word (see And Then There Were None, or The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul). Also character names that can trip us up when we have to speak them aloud, such as complicated fantasy sorts, or Hermione.
O – Open. What we do with books, as often as we can.
P – Protest. What we do, loudly, when someone tries to stop us doing O).
Q – Quiet. What non-readers think we need in order to be able to concentrate on our book, when actually we can vanish into the story pretty much any time, with little regard for what’s happening around us. Quiet is nice, though.
R – Romance. Something I can take or leave in books (I mostly leave it), but as to books themselves? See L).
S – Swearing. Also screaming. What we do when the author kills the dog. And also sometimes when the characters do something silly, or the book ends, or the series ends, or we drop the book in the bath, or spill tea on our fingers at a jumpy point.
T – Tea. Large quantities of which are needed for a good reading session. I understand other beverages are also available. Apparently.
U – Urge. The urge to read, which is pretty much a permanent state. Also the urge to throw the book across the room at times (usually when we’re reading a Book We Must Read, or when the dog dies), and the urge to throw the lamp at anyone interrupting us in the good bits.
V – Voracious. How our reading was described on at least one school report.
W – Water. Necessary to keep ourselves hydrated through all the crying, screaming, and swearing. Reading is surprisingly physically demanding.
X – What our partners/friends will be if they don’t stop interrupting reading time. (Yes, I know, ex, and using x hurts me too, but I couldn’t work xylophone in.)
Y – Yawn. An indication that we really should put the book down and go to bed, as we stopped looking at the clock about an hour after late had become really late, but at this point we may as well keep going. Sleep is for the weak.
Z – Zero. The possibility that we will ever read all the books we want to read. Which is honestly pretty wonderful. So many worlds still to explore!
Now over to you, lovely people. What alternatives would you offer for the A-Z? Let me know below!