The final push

The final push

So Wimbledon has been and gone, which is always a blessing and a disguise. I always feel that I haven’t made the most of it, and watched enough tennis. That said, it does mean that I might finally get back to writing properly. Tonight under the light of a gas lamp and fairy lights draped around the patio I finished typing up what I’ve written to date.

55222 / 80000 words. 69% done!

So now comes the final push! I’m so close to finishing book two in the Mr Tumnal trilogy.

The Pleasure of Books

The Pleasure of Books

The Gifts of Reading by Robert Macfarlane

The woodcut cover of this short essay on gifting the pleasure through books hints too at the other theme of the book, that of journeys trodden on foot – a subject that Robert Macfarlane covers more in his book The Old Ways. So from the cover onwards, this is a small, pocket-sized volume to tempt you on, down a journey of physical paths, and tempting books.

It may only be 34 small pages, but it’s epic in scale, and has resulted in me adding another two books to my to read list. It’s also not a collection of words that leave you with poignancy. It’s a perfect volume to celebrate the joy, and the importance of reading, fitting for it’s purpose of celebrating Independent Booksellers.

Twenty years on: rekindling the JK Rowling magic

Twenty years on: rekindling the JK Rowling magic

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

It is scarcely credible to think that Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is 20 years old this year. It is just as incredible to realise that in all that time I have only read it the once. Until now.

I figured that it was time for a long overdue re-read, and I was right. Reading the first adventure ten years after the last, and with all the films having gone between it was surprising how much of the detail of the book I had forgotten. It was near to halfway through the book before Harry had even arrived at Hogwarts, met Hermione, and been ‘sorted’ (still longer before he and Hermione became friends) but the pace was perfect througout.

I have always thought that some of the longer, later books could have done with more of an edit, and a tightening up of the story, because I think that this, the original, had that, and it shows.

The only question that remains for me now, is when to re-read book two? Sooner rather than later or pretend that it was as it was at the beginning and treat myself to one a year as Harry, Ron, and Hermione grow up and go through the Hogwarts years. After all, that, I think, is how they should be read by everyone rather than binging on them in almost one sitting.