A grey day is a good one for finishing a book by the fire. And being a notebook fan, it’s probably no surprise to you that I have a book of books. I used to jot recent reads down in the back of my journals, but then they sort of all ended up in one place (what can i say, I like a good list). I made this notebook myself, having the good fortune to live with a bookbinder at the time (hi Kate!)
It’s funny how books attach themselves to the moment they’re read. To me, books are as much about the places they take you, as the places you take them. The story in the cover adds to your own: arriving in Trieste by train with A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, soaking in the bathtub of a lofty Cumbrian cottage with Freedom, or carrying a weathered Don Quixote over the Austrian mountains. Ian McEwan joined me in Desolation Wilderness, and I crossed the ocean with Jose Saramago. I lost JB Priestley on a plane, and left JK Rowling on a park bench. I’ve left some books behind, but held on to some pictures. There is something pleasingly neat about storing your memories between the pages of books. And if I didn’t keep a list, I’d probably forget both the book, and those moments surrounding each story.