I will take any excuse to snuggle in and read a good book. August the 9th is “Book Lovers Day”, an unofficial holiday that encourages people to pick up a book (or two) and spend the day reading. Thankfully here in South Africa it coincides with Woman’s Day and we all have the day off, it’s the perfect chance to tuck into a good novel.
Book stores to me, are places of magic, libraries are historical wonders. The smell of the paper pages as you walk through the doors instantly transports me to a place of calm and peace. I used to work right above a bookstore and would go down and least 4 times a month, walking away with a new treasure to devour. I’m what you may call a compulsive reader, when I finally get a chance to sit down with a book I enjoy I am fully immersed. I must finish the entire book then and there, forgetting about any of plans for the day. My mum and sister always tease me about my taste in books. I prefer “softer” books, books that take me to a happy place and leave me feeling good. They prefer deeper sci-fi styled books, or historical masterpieces.
Becoming a mother unfortunately put my love for reading on a back burner. For the first two years I didn’t even manage to pick up a book and certainly didn’t have time to browse the book stores either. Thankfully as the boys have gotten a bit older and I have been able to carve out a little more “me time” my love for reading as reignited and hopefully I can pass that onto my boys. Growing up we had a dedicated weekly slot at school for library. In primary school this involved getting a story read by the librarian and then browsing the gigantic library to find a book to take out for the week. It saddens me to think that this may not happen when my boys.
Some of my favourite authors include Nicky Pellegrino whose tales are set in Italy, her stories are about friendship and food, passion and family secrets. JK Rowling, because… Harry Potter, enough said. Sophie Kinsella, yes, I love me a little bit of the Shopaholic series. Not only do the main character and I share a name but we also share a certain penance for our love of shopping. Lastly Lesley Pearce focuses on mainly historical adventures and crime mysterious and writes about characters that are almost impossible to care about.
If you are feeling a bit detached from the literacy world, or even want to encourage reading in your children, here are a couple of ways to reignite your love for reading:
1) Visit your local library
In Johannesburg we are blessed with beautiful local library’s that are largely forgotten about. My favourites are Olivedale and Rivonia. Sign up or dig out your library card and get reacquainted with some lovingly read and best of all, free books!
2) Reread an old favourite
The Harry Potter Series will never get old for me, neither do Nicky Pellegrino’s Italian adventures. Books like this immediately transport me to another place.
3) Visit a literacy haunt
We spent hours on a trip to Rome hunting down a Caffe Greco. It’s not only the oldest café/ bar it Roma but it is famous for being a place where authors and poets used to go and sit for inspiration. Hans Christian Anderson, the famous poet Keats, all frequented this popular coffee house. Such an incredible feeling to enjoy a coffee in the very same spot.
4) Start a book club
Whether it’s done for social needs or to reignite your passion for reading, a book club is a great way to focus your goals, swap and exchange good reads or to just catch up on good gossip.
Together with CNA, One of South Africa’s oldest and most loved Book and Stationery stores, I’ll be giving away one set of books from International bestselling author Lesley Pearse. This set of 3 includes two of my personal favourites, “Belle” and “Dead to me”
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Winners will be announced Monday the 13th August.
Winners must be residents of South Africa and not have won any other “In These Stilettos” competitions in the last 3 months.