Amongst all the lotions and potions and unguents and balms, you'll find a great stack of my other love, books. I always have my nose in a book (or three) and have amassed quite the collection over the years. Above is my current bookshelf. I have another one filled to the brim back at my parents' house and am hoping that one day, not too far from now, I'll be able to have them all in one place so I can sit and lose myself in forgotten favourites and as-yet-unopened treasures.
I always buy my books second-hand, be they from charity shops or online, and whenever I ask for books as gifts I request that they be second-hand as well. I don't know why; I think I'm helping the book industry but I now realise (literally now, as I type) that if anything, I'm not really helping it at all. I'm helping charities and my own purse*. But that's no bad thing, so second-hand will stay.
Recently I went to a book-lover's paradise for a little holiday. Hay-on-Wye, near Hereford in Wales, is a tiny town famous for its second hand bookshops (check out the blue sky!). There's also an annual literary festival, which has just happened, but I avoided the crowds and went a couple of weeks beforehand for three days of browsing, reading and buying books. So. Many. Books.
This is the pile I came home with. The one book I really wanted to find was Swallows and Amazons, which I haven't read since primary school. I've started it and am so enjoying the adventures "at sea" of the four children. I want to read the rest of the series this year as well - I had no idea there were so many.
The other book I have on the go is Human Croquet by Kate Atkinson. She's one of my most favourite writers, and the Jackson Brodie series is completely brilliant, but I'm really struggling with this one. I'm about a third of the way through and I haven't got to grips with the character or the story, unfortunately. I'll persevere but it's my least favourite of all her books.
Next I'm going to get stuck into the P D James, who I've never read, and The Wicked Girls. I do love me some light crime.
I'd love to hear what you're reading at the moment as well as your all-time favourite books. I can never have too many on the reading list.
*I donate all books that I've read and not really loved to charity as well, so as to reduce the clutter (and justify a new purchase or two).