A Brighton based Author, Playwright, Insatiable Reader, Publisher ....and foodie.
I thought I would re-read my bookshelves, prior to a much needed cull. Keepers or charity shop? Please help me decide. Most of the books are beloved old friends, some are new, and some are waiting to be tasted. Some need to GO.
I am convinced that one day I will be found buried under the toppling pile of books on my bedside table, but tant pis, there are worse ways to go. I blame it on my mother. She was a true bibliophile, teaching me to read when I was four, begging me with tears in her eyes that “It would be so much fun!” She was right. It was.
Some of her books I inherited (apart from the Dickens which she adored and I had, and have, an aversion to) So, I thought I’d start with some of her old friends.
Well, I am quite aware that some of you, well, thousands of you went to Trafalgar Square to hear starry authors (amongst them the perfect poppet that is David Nicholls and the sublime Margaret Atwood) but here in Brighton we made do with Brighton Library. And being Brighton is was... well, it was somewhat different. We had performance poetry about dog poo, we had pirates, we had a 90 year old woman reading her first book that she'd had published last week into a non-working microphone and a blind woman was emoting in Children's Corner to a group of spellbound kids. There was also Shedman (don't ask, I haven't got a clue.) Oh yes, and there were the Library Whisperers - a group of thin young men in dodgy looking raincoats who accosted you to 'whisper' about their favourite books, but they were all a bit too nervous and congregated in the Green Room eating kit-kats. Our brave author, Andrew Kay read aloud from his favourite book (My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell) straining to make himself heard over the unprecedented noise and chaos of the library. And jolly well he did too. There were storytellers who had 3 minutes each, and a lovely woman who had written the Brighton Encyclopedia. There were book give-aways that were eagerly snatched up and a very cute looking scruffy white dog that got a lot of attention (I think he'd got an agent by the end of the evening). Fun, chaotic, noisy, and quite bonkers. The saving grace for me was that people had been asked to fill in a questionnaire about books and I leave you with the best comments that I saw. Q: "What do you like best about books?" A:"They are nothing like life ...(they are better) Quite right too.