So what’s on your santa list?
I’m eagerly hoping for a number of books. Books I’ve been pencilling onto a mental list – inside my head over the last month – as I’ve been going in and out of bookshops buying for others. Shopping for books is a hard task. They are like magnets. There you are purposefully trawling through shelves looking for a special book for someone else when all of a sudden your hand is inadvertently pulled elsewhere, towards a particular book, a beautiful book, your future book. You pick it up, look at it, want it desperately, think about it, realise what you’re there for and then reluctantly put it back. It’s so, so hard.
For me Christmas is always associated with books. When I was younger my mother always gave us a book from Santa, the perfect book. Somehow she knew exactly what we wanted before we did. Before we knew anything about the book she picked. She was always ahead of the posse, the trend, the reviews, the latest big thing, the cult book of the year and it was always my favourite present. These days I’m happy enough for any title so long as it’s something I’d never buy myself; selected letters, a biography, a history of some forgotten war campaign, the latest hardback thriller, etc. I have been dropping hints but, because I’ve running around in between work, I’ve often been on my own. Not the thing to do if you’re looking for someone to buy something particular for you. Now it’s too late. Christmas is upon us and whatever books I hope to have are already bought and wrapped.
My father draws up a Christmas list and insists we do the same for him so I know there are a few books coming. I can’t wait. Reading over Christmas is one of my favourite moments of the year, a time to sit and be quiet in peace. Bliss with cold turkey, cranberry sauce and mayonnaise sandwiches. It’s a short greedy time – which makes it all the sweeter.
I hope you all get your chance to escape for a few hours over the holidays; to sit, read, watch a film, eat copious amounts of food, forget the future, the past and rest quietly in the present. Happy Christmas
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