When Sarah asked me why my proposed "Read Your Stash" entries had little non-knitting content, I had to stop to think. I am not a big fan of packing and unpacking so when our family moved temporarily into a rental house last year many of our possessions ended up in boxes piled high in the garage. Only those items considered essential made it into the house. And that, my friends, explains the content of my bookshelves. Since I was the arbiter of "essential reading" for the family, my vast array of knitting books, booklets, stitchionaries and old magazines all made it to the shelves, leaving little room for anything else.
I didn't have the heart to tell Sarah (just weeks away from her due date) that while knitting may have taken the place of some of my reading, it was the kids that completely decimated any leisurely reading time I may have previously had. This left me with only light reading - a few mystery novels that could be easily put down and picked up hours or days later. Nothing worthy of quotation. There is, however, one set of books that I have devoted many hours of reading time to in recent years. This author has a wonderful ability to paint a picture with words, to draw you into the characters a make you beg for more. Here is an example, see what you think.
"The house stood on a hill overlooking the village, some of its windows boarded, tiles missing from the roof, and ivy spreading unchecked over its face. Once a fine-looking manor, and easily the largest and grandest building for miles around, the house now stood damp, derelict and unoccupied. Half a century ago, something strange had happened there, something that the older inhabitants of the village still liked to discuss when topics for gossip were scarce. The story had been picked over so many times, and had been embroidered in so many places, that nobody was quite sure what the truth was anymore. Every version of the tale, however, started in the same place: Fifty years before, at daybreak on a fine summer's morning ..."
If only I could share this with my kids, teach them how to use a wide variety of adjectives and adverbs in their creative writing homework, show them with examples like this the power of the written word and instill in them a love of reading at an early age . . . oh wait! I can, because this is an excerpt from page one of Harry Potter 4. Every book read by our daughter at least twice and read by me out loud to our son page by page, all three-thousand three-hundred and forty-one of them.
So while my reading habits may have changed over the years it doesn't mean they are any less enjoyable today. Now we wait impatiently for Saturday, July 21st - if you have to ask why, you've got six books to start reading. You may finish in time if you hurry!