It’s not a lie that the simple things in life are often the ones to give you the most pleasure. For me recently, this has been being able to choose what I read. For the past three years I have been studying English Literature, which has been great for a bibliophile like me. I’ve been exposed to all sorts of books that I wouldn’t have read otherwise, and I have loved my degree. However, now that my course has finished I can take enjoyment in the fact that I have no more reading lists and if I want to spend money on books now, I can spend it on those of my own choosing.
The first thing I did after handing in my dissertation was go to the local library and pick out a selection of easy reads. I also took great delight in buying some glossy magazines, which in the past had only been reserved for long train journeys. Slowly but surely, I am rediscovering my love of reading in books. Whilst I loved my course, reading isn’t quite the same when you have to analyse and take notes on everything. It’s also not the same when it comes with a deadline – it is much less stressful when you have all the time you want or need.
A good friend of mine has also loaned me some books to read – some which I was intending on reading anyway, and others which she strongly recommends. I have such a pile next to my bed now I’m not quite sure where to start, but it is a relief to know that I can read them at leisure. I’ve also started a small list of books I would like to read. Some of them have been lying on my shelf forgotten whilst I finish my course, others I have intended to read but never got round to, and some I have been recommended by other people. I don’t usually write lists of books (surprising given I have lists for pretty much everything else!) as there are usually far too many I want to read, but I’ve decided it could be a pretty good way of keeping track of everything I’m recommended.
Here is a shortened version of my list for now, I would be grateful for any recommendations you can add to it!
- Suite Française – Irène Némirovsky
- Alone in Berlin – Hans Fallada
- Bel Canto – Ann Patchett
- A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini
- The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
- Portrait of a Lady – Henry James
- The King’s Curse – Philippa Gregory
- The Saffron Gate – Linda Holeman