When S moved to London and we moved into our first flat together, it was just before Christmas. We spent so much on getting the flat, and then turning it into our own space, that we decided stockings only were the plan for Christmas gifts. The rules were simple – anything we got the other had to fit in a stocking.
Last year, he bent the rules considerably and on fake Christmas Day – the day we do Christmas together before we fly home home – I found a Kindle, and I named her Margaret. Stick around here a while and you’ll see I name almost everything. This only ever proves mildly confusing to people who visit (or my boss, who looked baffled when he asked me who Judith was, and I explained she was a plant – all the Judiths and Margarets out there, hello!)
I’ve always loved books, and part of that has been the physical – walking into a bookshop, touching the covers, the smell, the sound, the way holding a thick book under a cosy blanket makes you feel – so I didn’t know how I would find Margaret. It turns out I loved her, and S loves the fact that I now don’t buy as many books, and so he doesn’t keep having to lug shelves and bookcases up the stairs when we run out of space.
While having Margaret is great, and makes reading on the go alot easier, I’ve found that if I love a book – really love a book the way I loved The Time Traveler’s Wife or The Shadow of the Wind (I won’t resort to shouty capitals just yet – but read.them.), I’ll buy an actual copy to have in the flat, or to lend to a friend. Because really, looking at bookcases full of your favourites and being able to lend them to your friends is half the fun of reading.
Recent favourites I’ve bought after enjoying on Margaret:
The End of your Life Book Club, WIll Schwalbe –
A wonderful read about the author’s mother’s cancer journey, and the book club that they start together at her chemo sessions. Schwalbe effortlessly links other novels with their story, and I couldn’t stop highlighting and making notes.
Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn –
My favourite mystery/thriller in a long time, and I know I’m not the only one. I’m intrigued to see what the film ends up being like, but will definitely be reading this again before then.
The Light Between Oceans, M L Stedman
I’ve never harboured any ambitions to be an author, but this is one of those books that will make you wish you had written it yourself. Beautifully written, and heartbreaking in the way only a good book can be.
This was the first book I bought once I got Margaret, and the inevitable airport Christmas delays flew by with it. A really original read about exactly what the title suggests, but so much more on top of it.