Found via SwirlyThoughts
Reading is usually quite a big part of my life, but lately it has not been coming easily. The night I got admitted to hospital way back in November, the book I was reading (and so had about my person) was Smoking Ears And Screaming Teeth that you might remember I found in the street. Since this book is all about medical experiments and people dying horribly as a result of them, it was not really the best book for me to be reading in that situation, but I found myself incapable of concentrating anyway and the book went back into my bag. A week or so into my hospital stay, the night before my MRI scan, I decided to give it another go and picked it up... only to find myself at the chapter about MRI scans! As you might imagine, I quickly put the book away and have yet to finish it!
I struggled to concentrate on any books for a long time after that, but recently I've been getting back into reading, or trying to. Just after New Year, I picked up The Last Family In England in a charity shop and managed to read it one-handed while feeding Dulcie in the evenings. It was a very easy read and most enjoyable so I got another book by Matt Haig to read soon and I'm looking forward to it. After that I read The Yellow Wallpaper, probably not recommended reading for anyone who's recently had a baby and is feeling a bit on the mental side, but I had been meaning to read it for at least a decade and enjoyed some of the stories quite a lot. Just as I finished that, my friend Lorna sent me a book she had just read and enjoyed, Gillespie And I by Jane Harris. I had wanted to read this book when it was first published and then somehow forgot all about it so it was a lovely surprise to get a copy in the post. I managed to read the first chapter or two almost straightaway (Dulcie must have been on her best behaviour that day) and was instantly hooked, which was why it was so annoying to discover that the book was too thick to read one-handed while breastfeeding! Nooo! The book is so good, however, that I found ways and means to sneak in a few pages here and there and while I was around the halfway point I found I was able to hold it open and feed Dulcie at the same time. Now that I'm nearing the end of the book, I need to find other times and places to read, situations where I have the rare luxury of two free hands.
The last couple of days I have been heading out to the park with the pram and stopping at a bench to read a few pages until Dulcie threatens to wake up. When she stirs, I walk until she settles and sit down at the next bench and read a few more pages. This might sound laborious, but I'm fairly romping through it, all things considered. The book is set in the area I live in, although over 100 years ago, and it's fun to find yourself reading it in places where the action takes place. The fountain in the background of this photo was the meeting place of a search party in the book.
I'm quite enjoying heading out in the bracing cold to read, but it is not without its drawbacks as this quote from the book illustrates:
"Vigorous exercise, indeed! There is a saying that the Clyde is the only level highway in Glasgow, and the West End, in particular, is built upon a set of drumlins, producing the effect that - no matter which direction one takes - one always seems to be trudging uphill."
Now throw a pram and a heart condition into the mix and the green light is on for puffing and panting! Who knew that a good book could be such good exercise too?!