Saturday, 22 December 2012


What do books mean to you? Do you have any really precious ones? I have just picked up Birdsong again (Sebastian Faulks) and it's a treat in every way.

I love it so much, I can't lend it to anyone. I don't revisit it as often as some of my other favourites, such as Gone with the Wind, but the physical object itself means a lot to me. When I was a teenager, I saw it in a local bookshop (remember those?) and wanted it. For two years, I coveted it, and whenever we visited,  I would go to that shelf, take it off, read the reviews, fondle the beautiful cover (which I was judging it by, of course). When I began Saturday work (for a ridiculously small wage) I saved for the first month, then went to the bookshop. I bought myself an Oxford English Dictionary, which I also still love, and Birdsong.

It could so easily have been a different story. I was lucky that Birdsong was the book I had set my heart on, because it didn't disappoint.

This is the first time I have read it with a real 'writer's head' on. I am in awe, trying to watch how Faulks does it. The atmosphere, the sense of setting and time, the characterisations, the story....all magnificent. I read chunks and want to re-read because the words are beautiful.


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