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Ushering in Autumn

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That might be a slightly premature heading for a post, but I must confess that when I get to the start of September every year and am contemplating the return to work after the long summer break, autumn does seem just on the horizon – which is not necessarily a bad thing, as it *is* one of my favourite seasons. And let’s face it, the summer weather in the UK hasn’t exactly been brilliant…

I’m not sure that I actually got as much reading done over the summer as I usually do; partly because I was embroiled in “War and Peace” for so long, which did give me a bit of a book hangover. I seem to have found it difficult to focus of late, and as there are limited challenges I’ve set myself this year I’m not always sure what I want to read next. Hence, I suppose, the regular lapses into classic crime!

I had planned a summer re-read of these lovelies, but that didn’t happen. Nevertheless, rethinking things I can see that autumn would perhaps be a nice time to hunker down under a blanket as the evenings become darker and chillier, and get lost in such a big saga. Apart from that, what else is lined up?

Well – poetry, I hope, as I really have let my poetry reading slip and I have so many lovely volumes that I MUST TRAIN MYSELF TO DIP INTO MORE rather than just trying to read them all the way through. Then there’s Pessoa, who again I need to dip into.

Some potential autumn reads..

I have a number of review books lurking for when the moment is right, and there will be the Virago monthly reads which I may join in with if the author appeals, as well as a group guided read of “Agnes Grey”. And on the subject of Virago authors, I really want to read more of the marvellous Margaret Atwood (and perhaps revisit some favourites).

Also coming up in October will be the next of the ‘Club’ reads, hosted by Simon at Stuck in a Book and myself. This time we’ll be looking at 1968 and I have a really surprising number of books lurking for that year, after worrying that there wouldn’t be much that took my fancy.

So lots of autumn treats to look forward to – there *will* be classic crime, there *will* be Russians, but what else – well, that remains to be seen! What plans have you got for autumn reading? And have you any thoughts about any of my possible reading pile or any recommendations??

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A sentimental purchase

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I’ve written before about the pivotal effect on me of visiting the local library at a young age; it was a place that opened the door to books we could never afford at home, and I still have memories of my father taking me there to borrow another treasure. One early book that became a favourite was Dr. Seuss’s “I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew”, and that came from the library when it was in its old location in our town – down near the river in an old, dark building.

When I started earning I bought my own copy….

The library later moved to a new shiny building in the 1960s style modern precinct built in the middle of town. Inside was all bright and new, and I still made use of it all the time (and kept doing so until I finally moved away from home for good). And it was with books borrowed from this library that I was able to really expand the breadth of my reading and move onto more adult titles in my early teens.

The original Hobbit from 1971 – battered and bruised and just about holding together!

One set of books I read and loved was Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Some friends of the family had seen me reading the Narnia books and suggested I would like “The Hobbit”. They then sent us a copy and both my dad and I devoured it (he was quite a reader and a fan of sci-fi and fantasy). The natural progression was to “The Lord of the Rings” and so we borrowed this from the library – lovely hardback editions in blue-grey (laminated on) dust jackets with gorgeous big fold out maps in the back. We were both transfixed by the books, and I’ve returned to them many, many times over the years, owning my own paperback copies.

However, it’s a while since I read the trilogy, and I developed a hankering recently to revisit it. And I decided I’d like to re-read the books in the format I originally did – hardbacks with a fold out map. A little research online revealed that these were the second edition books from the 1960s and getting hold of a set in decent condition would be very, very pricey, so I put the idea on the back burner – until I recently stumbled upon these…

Yes, they’re very, very battered, and yes there are bits of the dust jackets missing – but this is a sound enough set of the second edition books in readable condition and so I’ll be able to read the books again as I did first time with my dad. And joy of joys, there are lovely intact maps in the back in super condition!

The set was ridiculously cheap and despite the rather bedraggled state of them, I’m happy to have them in the house ready for a summer revisit. OH has kindly covered the books with a mylar-type plastic to keep what’s left of the jackets together and make it easier for me to read. So summer will see a sentimental trip into my past – I’m looking forward to it! πŸ™‚

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