Coffee and books!

This is me!
I am brave, I love tea, reading books, sipping coffee.
This is me!

I had to sing that! Only in my head though!
I have loved and devoured books from being a small child and still go to them now for entertainment and escapism.

Getting lost in a book does recharge my batteries and is my way of relaxing, just like some people love to sit on a riverbank and fish! I've done this with my hubby but once I've eaten the picnic and read a bit, I'm ready for home!

It's probably to do with the fact there's hardly any people to watch on a riverbank! Sit me on a bench in a city centre and I'll people watch all day. Getting material for my writing!

I need a badge with this sign! I could use it as an Out of Order sign while I am reading!

There is something so satisfying about going into a book shop. I'm either en route to a cafe or a bookstore!

Bookshops are so full of promise and newness! I wonder around thinking, What am I going to add to my forever growing To be read pile! I love the smell of new books, and old, especially when they smell of suntan lotion and remind me of past holidays. That smell needs bottling!

I know they say never judge a book by its cover, but I do! And the blurb! Book covers call out to me as I walk past them. And more often than not, the intriguing covers don't let me down! This is so true with people too. You never know what books and people are really like until you get to know them!

This next quote makes you think. At the same time, should you really judge a book by its film! Unless it's Bridget Jones or Harry Potter. I do think it's best for me to read the book first so you can create your own images in your head, before a film gives them to you.

One book, or series, I absolutely adore but I watched the TV adaptation first is my beloved Anne of Green Gables. Anne with an e!

I am so glad I saw Megan Fellowes play Anne first, before I went on to read, and love all the books. I still watch them and quote from them now. Anne and Gilbert- a special love story.

I love book shops and my dream is to have my own one day. With a little coffee part so folk  can enjoy the two. Or even do a little writing whilst they sip their magic coffee and nibble on a croissant.

I've been in so many gorgeous bookshops around the world and the one that has stayed with me is the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver. Such a magical place. I loved walking through each floor with its hundreds of books, its comfy seats and sofas and its coffee shop in the corner. The place was so cosy and welcoming, with its little reading lamps and fab book displays. They also hold a variety of book clubs but it's a bit far for me to go to join!

I've shopped for books all over, especially markets, second hand book shops and charity shops. I've just given a massive box to the charity shop. The lady was fair prizing them out of my arms! My favourite second hand book shop was in Holmfirth, called The Toll Booth, I think! It is now the Fairtrade shop. I used to walk up all the rickety staircases and kept finding more rooms with more books! I bought loads of old, hardbacks and still treasure them now. The Daisy Lane Bookshop in Holmfirth is lovely and I've spent hours in there too! It's a proper walk down Memory Lane!

As a student, I loved going into Headingley and trawling around the Oxfam second hand bookshop, then reading and writing in one of the many cafes along the street. I loved it here in this busy, lively area and keep meaning to return one day.

My memories feature lots of books. I'm a nostalgic, old fashioned person and I'd rather cling onto books, rather than step into the future with kindles and ebooks. I've used Amazon the odd time as a teacher, but I like to still do the old fashioned bookshop browsing. I saw this on the Facebook page of Daisy Lane Bookshop.

It's good to have a dream and I still hold onto it. I'd be working with my two fave things, excluding marmite and cheese - coffee and books! I am a dreamer and a little naive but with age, comes realism and I know the practical side of owning a bookshop probably does not live up to the dream in this day and age of competition from others and the lure of the screen! I love this quote so much.

I am actually reading The Diary of a Bookseller at the moment and I'm loving it. It features the idealism of the local, family run bookshop against the cold, harsh reality of falling customer numbers (who are actually buying) and the fact they need to sell on Anazon to get by. The diary is Bridget Jones like in that every entry starts with number of customers and number of Amazon sales. They also rely on house clearances and find a few gems to sell to customers looking for specialist books. They may have to unload 20 boxes of books though to find that special one! I still want to own a bookshop after reading so far!

I love reading Jenny Colgan and my fave is The Little Shop of Happy Ever After that one of my book clubs read. I loved the idea of going up to Scotland, renovating an old van into a mobile book shop and going around all the gorgeous villages, or stopping off at market towns and selling books. What an adventure!

Perhaps the mobile mini book shop is an idea for retirement! I found some fab pictures on Pinterest of cycles and vans. I can see myself riding one of these around the little coastal villages and bays on the East Coast such as Sandsend and Runswick Bay, whilst hubby fishes in the sea!

Or we could have a barge book shop or a mobile coffee/ book shop. The idea is growing in my head!

Or I could go around the East Coast finding gorgeous little cafes and tea rooms, like in this lovely book where the lady, who lives in Scarborough does exactly that! Such a lovely read and there are more books similar to read from the same author!

I'm in the TV Book Club and Luv Books on facebook, as well as a few others, and these are such fab groups of book lovers. Only problem us, my list of books to read is getting so much longer since joining!

From being in these book clubs, I've seen so many amazing, book swap libraries. I love all these ideas, especially the telephone boxes and the Tardis. Imagine how many books you could fit in there!

I love the idea of having your own book swap box, as I saw in many pictures on Pinterest.

I love libraries and maybe need to soend more time in them! I love the fact that a lot of small villages still have a library, and I still go to the one at Mapplewell. I'm looking forward to the new one in Barnsley. I saw this library in Kansas City on Facebook and love it!

I remember going to our library when I was growing up and loved the children's section. The building seemed huge and I couldn't get over how many books they had! I used to look forward to goimg with my dad to the Book sales where we'd buy mainly hardback books with the word, Discard and the price, normally 10p written in big writing at the front of the Book.

Libraries are amazing places. Something else I always wanted to be - a librarian. As a child, I spent hours making fronts for books to be stamped and given to my dolls. My now sister in law would play too and we'd take it in turns to be the librarian.

I was always fascinated with the old drawers with the index cards of every member in our old school library. I looked on Pinterest and found this fab Lego library. I'd love this!

I love this quote from Facebook; it really made me laugh!

My friends and I would go in our lunch hour and work our way, very quickly, through all the Sweet Valley High series, then the Sweet Dreams! I found this modern Sweet Valley High book that made me laugh. Perhaps it's a joke or you really can buy it! Reminded me of a hen weekend in Milan, looking for beer. How many euros for a pint?!

I couldn't get enough of books and loved Judy Blume also. Her Tiger Eyes and Forever were two of my faves. She writes adult fiction too so I must check this out. I recently read a quote by Judy Blume and it speaks volumes. She waa saying kids just need to read, wherever, whatever. If it is the back of a cereal box, they're reading! As a teacher, I totally agree and always pushed this. Read magazines and comics as well as books. I did. Whatever you read, you are still reading. Keep reading what you enjoy, what you are passionate about.

I'll admit, I have given up on reading a  few books. I really don't see the point in reading unless you are enjoying the book. The choice of book is so important. If you are struggling, let it go and pick something else up. This quote about the Classics is so true. In fact, some of the books I've struggled with have been Classics.

I do love Jane Austen though. I didn't 'get her' though in my A Levels. It wasn't until my degree that I fully appreciated her characterisation and use of irony. I've come across modern novels influenced by Austen and would love to read them. I enjoyed reading Elizabeth Gaskill too.

As I'm writing this blog, I'm reminded of the fact there are too many books I still need to read and there isn't enough time! When you are reading, time kind of stands still, or at least goes slower.

Never mind, books to read. I have books I must re read because they are just so good! My fave ever best book in the whole wide world is Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood. It is set in Canada and shows the main character revisiting her childhood and childhood bully, Cordelia.

I was hooked from the very first page and have read it twice. I felt really sad when I had finished the book, like I was saying goodbye to very good friends. Apparently, there is an official term for this! I've had enough real hangovers in life, never mind book hangovers!

It is lovely starting a new book. Just me and the book, full of promise. And the dog at my feet, of course!

Whether I'm reading, writing or telly watching, she's at my feet. Such a lovely feeling. I sometimes stop and chat to her about something a character's just done. Or not done! She always agrees with me! She's here at my feet now!

I love reading whatever takes my mood, a bit like my music choice is governed by my mood. I love romance fiction and have a list of Summer fiction ready to read. Here are just a few.

I can't write this blog without mentionning how I got the reading bug so young. It is a mixture of your family and your school enciting you to read interesting books and giving you the feeling of wanting to read more. I love this painting of a small child's imagination being lit by fantasy books. A seed is sown and it just grows and grows.

I also owe such a lot to Enid Blyton, as many of us do. She's such a legend. I loved everything she wrote including: Amelia Jane, Mr Meddle, Mr Pinkwhistle, Wishing Chair and Enchanted Wood series, The Naughtiest Girl in the School, Malory Towers, St Clare's, Famous Five and Secret Seven.

I absolutely loved Malory Towers and from reading these  wanted so much to go a boarding school myself, playing lacrosse and having midnight feasts in my dormitory. One of the big reasons I loved Harry Potter years later.

The Famous Five were just brilliant and a bit like Jessica Fletcher on Murder, she wrote. Adventures and mysterries followed them everywhere! I like the look of the modern, ironic Famous Five books. They've gone from taking lashings of ginger beer to a treasure island, to taking barrels of beer to Brexit Island!

This tickled me. When Five then exited Brexit Island!

Many of the books above were our class readers at the end of a busy school day and I love to hear our teachers read the next chapter to us as the afternoon sun shone through the windows before the bell rang for hometime. My fave was Danny the Champion of the World and I'd love to hear about how Danny's dad got the pheasants!

I also need to thank Ladybird books. How msny of those did I read! And Topsy snd Tim! I  loved reading Tootles the taxi and looking at all the different vehicles. The modern, spoof Ladybird adult books are so funny. A bit different from the children's!

There were so many other fantastic books for kids and I loved to make a den out of an old sheet and hide away with a snack and my books. I loved My Naughty Little Sister, Milly Molly Mandy and Just William.

As I got a bit older I was really into the Choose your own adventure books where you felt like you were in charge of the adventure and solving the mysteries.

I have taught for 20 years and Literacy was my fave subject. I was always putting a Literacy slant onto everything. Well, to a point! I was like, we can write a poem about that! I always brought my children's books in and they'd be so excited borrowing Miss's books! I loved having an important part in cultivating a love of reading and writing through imagination. To be a good writer, you need to be a good reader first.

I still have many of my beloved, old choldhood books, their worn pages and covers showing how I read and re read a lot of them. They bring back lovely memories.

I've enjoyed reading so many authors and so many books, here are just a few. Maeve Binchey, Katie Fforde and Lisa Jewell are amazing.

I've also got into the modern, gripping stories with a bit of a mysterry and a twist.

Some of my faves have been the books in series, such as the Miss Read Village School and the Rebecca Shaw series. It's great knowing there are others and you don't have to say goodbye to the characters.

My friends and I who love reading swap books quite often and we have held two Charity book swaps. These have been really successful.

Books were swapped, yummy cakes were eaten, friends chatted and laughed and money was raised for charity. It was fab!

I have been to a few book clubs over the years and I've loved being a part of them all: one at a friend's houses; one at the local community centre where we also made crafts and had tea and scones; one as a Facebook group where we also met at a pub and a few on Facebook. I've covered these in a previous blog but I will reshare this quote I love from Pinterest.

I love to go to different cafes and sit with my book and a cup of tea or coffee. I love being in my little reading bubble. One of my fave cafes to do this is Locke Park where I always have a cup of tea. I love the cow milk jugs and loveheart shaped cups!

They always have gorgeous, fresh flowers on each table, usually different coloured roses.

Another place to read is The Old George, especially in the conservatory downstairs. 

Sitting upstairs in the window of the Blue Room is also a cosy place to read while I drink my flat white.

I have researched a few bookshops with cafes in Yorkshire and there is the wonderful Rude Shipyard in Sheffield where my friend has recommended. Looks really retro here.

I also found one in Thirsk, The White Rose bookshop and cafe which looks lovely too.

There is a lovely bookshop with a coffee shop too in Grassington, Yorkshire Dales where they have book readings for children and jam making sessions with the gorgeous Cherry Tree Preserves company. Divine!

I've visited the gorgeoys Bakewell Bookshop and cafe a few times over the years. They sell vinyl records and jewellery too. I looked on facebook and saw this fab special box for Valentine's day with books, a bag and a pen. That would be a prezzy I would appreciate!

I love reading and writing modern poetry but that is definitely another blog! I hope you have enjoyed this little trip down a Reading Memory Lane. I need to close with the special book that actually got me into loving language and words. This book captured my imagination but also made me appreciate the fantastic images words can create and the amazing characterisation that can drive a story. These characters stayed in my mind for much longer than after I'd read it. I was very lucky to read Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee during my A Levels and this book, and his story have stayed close to my heart ever since.


  1. Love reading books. Can't get to sleep until I've read 1 or 2 chapters + a whisky and dry not coffee. Agree with you that a love of reading comes from your childhood. Loved Enid Blyton books but my favourite book was Heidi by Johanna Spyri.

    1. Oh yes Heidi! We loved that on telly too!


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