This month’s One Book a Month task was extremely arduous. I walked three minutes from my front door and went to Emsworth’s only bookshop Bookends. (It’s a second hand bookshop but it’s an independent business and, like I said, it’s the only bookshop in the village, so it counts!)
One of the things I love most about my One Book a Month campaign is just how much I look forward to going into a different bookshop each month with the sole mission of choosing just one book. Because I go in with no preconceived ideas as to what I’m going to buy, the whole thing becomes an adventure.
I get the same feeling I used to get when I was a child and my mum took us to the local library each week. It was a heady mixture of anticipation and excitement. You just knew all sorts of wonderful things were waiting for you in the library. The question was, which wonderful thing would you take home with you that week?
I’d also forgotten how much interacting with a book enhances the whole experience – I can pick a book up… feel it’s weight in my hands… stroke the cover… turn it over and scan the blurb on the back… flip through the pages to get a feel for the writing… and, of course, read the first paragraph (vitally important as far as I’m concerned – it sets the tone for the whole book).
This month it took a record-breaking three minutes to choose my book. Kate Mosse is an author who lives nearby in Chichester. I spied her bestselling novel Labyrinth on the shelf and decided that was The One.
Last month’s book: Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed
I had a major stumbling block with this book – I wasn’t entirely sure I liked the author! I found it hard to connect with her at first. She seemed quite cold and distant, as if she was holding a massive part of herself back. But as she started giving us glimpses into her background, my initial scepticism slowly turned to admiration. A solo eleven hundred mile walk through the wilderness of America is gutsy by anyone’s standards. More so if you’re a lone woman. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t have done it (fear would have got the better of me). In summary, I wasn’t gripped by the book (no going to bed early and falling asleep with the book on my head), but I really enjoyed reading it and by the end, I was moved and inspired. Job done.