That photo on the top right of my blog is not something I just casually grabbed from Zemanta or Google, it’s the real deal, it’s my chair and my library. Sure, that Ikea Billy Book case still needs filling up a bit more but I still have a lot of books. Despite having a bit of a rant about the 32 books that I had to plough through last semester, I do genuinely love books and I’d be lost as a person without them. When I was a girl my favourite place to be was curled up with my Grandad’s Readers Digests in a room that he kept just for his books and his Toby jugs (ex-publican!). I’d read Enid Blyton, Catherine Cookson and abridged versions of The Eagle Has Landed and The Three Faces of Eve before I’d even entered my teens, and have had a voracious appetite for books ever since. I always dreamt that one day I would have a library at home (and still hope to build a house one day with an entire room devoted to one with a special pair of sliding ladders!) and this little spot makes me happier than you can ever imagine. My shelves almost reach the ceiling, turn a corner and are organised in genres including a childrens section. My own adult children have their own laminated “Mum’s Library” cards, a borrowing book and stamps for each book they’ve read…..yes really, I am THAT nerdy. I also have a public library card and as a student of the University of Queensland have access to a mind boggling array of e-books and databases in the humanities library, and physical books , including the Fryer Library which has rare and ancient books that are centuries old. I love new books, and pre loved books and (though I have to fess up that I also own a Kindle) I love the fact that Brisbane, thankfully, still has many thriving bookshops. I love books so much that even when I’m not studying I’m usually reading more than one at a time. My shelves have everything from Homer and Ovid to Agatha Christie, to Robyn Hobb, Georges Perec, Tolstoy, Flaubert, Cervantes, Mudrooroo, Ted Hughes, Bill Bryson, Dickens, Eliot, Gaskell, etc etc etc like my tastes in music, it’s eclectic and varied.
This week WordPress featured an amazing post which was written in response to the appalling story of the girl in Pakistan who was shot in the head by the Taliban just for trying to attend school, you can show your support for Malala by uploading a photo of yourself reading a book by following this link to their Facebook page, simple as that, here’s mine (please note that I even could not resist buying a chair with words on it!):-
And the original WordPress post that led to this campaign:- http://lenashareef.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/girlwithabook/
Whatever your views are on gender and/or religion It’s 2012 for Godsakes, every man woman and child in the world should already have somewhere that they can go and read books, obtain an education and fulfill their potential; free from fear, hatred, prejudice, subjugation, lack of resources, absence of teachers, or a society that is ambivalent to the power of words to transform, inform, challenge, expand, enrich, entertain, and connect us all together in a shared humanity.
I’m always grateful for everything I have, but this week I’m especially grateful for my books and my education.