It’s time for a Chrissy Fact

It’s been a while since I shared a Chrissy Fact.

So far you’ve learned that I love a Flamingos, coffee and sharing food.  Flying is terrifyng but I love to travel.  Chrissy Fact #2 revealed that I’m a messy creative.  While fact #6 shared the story of my Facebook banner. You know that I love telling a good story and everything I create has a meaning. Today’s deep dark secret is that… I am a book worm! (GASP)

Yes! I am a book worm.

I LOVE to read. What better time to share this All About Me fact during National Book Week?

I really, Really, REALLY love to read…

Give me a the options to read a book or watch a movie… I will take the book option almost every time. It is very rare that I don’t have a novel that I’m reading.

When the last Harry Potter novel was released, my husband, Steve bought it home for me as a surprise one Friday night.  As he handed the precious tome to me with a coffee and bar of Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate, he said “I’ll talk to you on Sunday” and left me to read. (He knows me well)

For the entire weekend, he made sure I had food and coffee, took care of the house and our daughter as I lost myself among the pages of J.K.Rowlings’ novel.   Sleep was largely forgotten as I immersed myself in the magical wizarding world.  Bathing and cleaning my teeth still got done but I’m not sure that my hair got brushed…no time to look good as I had to find out what happened! As I turned the last page, Steve was there to listen to my excited babble about the characters and the plot.  (The things you do for love!)

What is most remarkable about this situation is my dear husband doesn’t read… EVER! Oh, he reads for work or to find out some technical information for his camera but he is yet to discover the joys of curling up with a good book. I feel sad that he misses out on the joy of being lost in a great story.

Reading allows us to escape.

When I was growing up, life was difficult at times.  I was mercilessly teased at school because of my lack of coordination, and because I wore both glasses and hearing aids. So books and the library became my escape.  I retreated to the pages where I discovered anything is possible. My siblings and the neighbourhood kids were much older than me so I was often alone.  To combat the loneliness and isolation, it was easy to imagine book characters as friends. I could visualise their adventures and books allowed me to share their journeys. Now reading is one of the ways I relax. (Being creative is another way.)

Books connect us to the past…

I have so many happy memories that involve books.  Sharing stories with my nana and pop (grandmother and grandfather) in their big brown recliner chairs are among my happiest memories.  Choosing books to order from book club with my mum and reading stories with her every night before bed.  Using the torch under the covers because I wanted to finish Flowers in the Attic and Steven King.

Snuggling up in bed with my daughter from the moment she was born, reading stories about The Very Hungry Catapiller, Guess How Much I Love You (in french and english), Winnie the Pooh and Alice in Wonderland.  Then progressing to silly tales about Terrible Underpants and How to Care for your First Monster then Harry Potter and Twilight.   Books made us laugh and sometimes made me cry. Those Jodi Piccoult books are tear jerkers.

My book collection

Before we renovated, our study was overflowing with books. (A side-eddect of having a resident bookworm) They were lovingly stacked two deep on shelves and placed on tidy stacks around the edge of the room. Eventually the floor wasn’t visible, the books kept multiplying. Books crept into the kitchen cupboards, hall cupboards, under the stairs, Paris’s room, the spare rooms, the lounge, under our bed, drawers in our ensuite and even the garage and car.  It was ridiculous.

Borrowing books from the library just wasn’t the same as owning them.  Most books I read more than once. As well as physical books, I had literally1000s of books on my ipad.

Something had to be done!

During the renovations, Steve staged an intervention… we negotiated a “book” budget and I agreed to rehome many of my books.  I gave some to friends’ children and donated three-quarters of my children’s books to various charities. I sold seven giant boxes of books on gumtree and donated my entire Jodi Piccoult, James Patterson, Michael Connelly and Clive Custler collections to the local nursing home…Yes I owned every book by all four authors. What sort of serious bookworm would I be if I didn’t have complete collections? Amassing a whole collection takes committment (and funds!)

Begrudgingly, I committed to parting with two-thirds of my cookbook collection… Apparently, I didn’t really need 150 cookbooks that I have never even opened, let alone cooked from..Who knew? My 75 favourites remained, so I’m not too sad. My Jamie Oliver collection survived the cull. (Yay!)

The way forward..

Reluctantly I agreed, if a new book enters the house then an old one has to be rehomed. Somewhat under duress, I also undertook not to frequent the Life Line BookFest again with the intent to buy.  (That’s how Steve assumes I amassed much of my book collection – he has no idea!) I even closed my Amazon Account so I wouldn’t be tempted to buy books.

Education through reading

Books = Reading = learning interesting stuff.

Admission: I rarely read non-fiction books. When I read, the story will mention a place, an issue, a cultural traditional or some other “fact” that I have to find out more! (It happens almost everytime.) So my quest for knowledge begins and I start searching for EVERYTHING (and I mean everything) I can about the topic so I can understand the story better. Discovering the real life inspiration behind the fiction is sometimes more fascinating than the fiction. Other times, I discover there is no truth behind the story at all and everything is in fact “made up”.  To be honest, I enjoy that type of fiction much less.  That may be why I rarely read science fiction… too far removed from the truth.

Even our holidays involve books

Whenever we travel, we end up in either a quirky book store or a famous library.

We were lucky enough to visit the Library of Congress in the USA (2018) and spend time in an exhibit displaying Thomas Jefferson’s Library. It was book heaven! Jefferson once said “I cannot live without books.” (June 10, 1815)  This is a sentiment I can completely relate to. Here’s a snap Steve took of the reading room…

A cute little italian book store

One of my favourite book stores is in Venice, Italy.  It’s a quirky little place called Libreria Acqua Alta (translated as the Bookstore of High Water) in Venice.  Even the name is awesome! This magnificent  bookstore has a number of over-stuffed rooms stacked wall-to-wall with books, magazines, maps, and other eclectic pieces. The difference is that these picturesque piles are all placed inside bathtubs, waterproof bins, and in one room a full-size gondola to escape the flooding that is common in Venice. The tiny court yard garden even has steps made from damaged books.  We spent hours here browsing through the stacks.

Sadly, I didn’t take home a book to remember my time there but we did get some wonderful photos, like these ones. As you can see, I found two perfect spots to read.

Love how they used old water damaged books to create the stairs in the courtyard.

Book Week & World Book Week

As I mentioned ealier, I’m sharing these facts on National Children’s Book Week.  I thought about waiting until UNESCO’s World Book Day in April but I just couldn’t wait.  In August each year, the Children’s Book Council of Australia brings children and books together celebrating CBCA Book Week. During this time schools, libraries, authors, illustrators and children celebrate Australian children’s literature and you will often see children’s book character parades and talented librarians creating amazing displays.  For a self-confessed “book nerd” it is awesome.  I love seeing my friends and their children dressed up in their book week costumes.

This year Book Week runs from 17 to 23 August and the theme is “Reading is My Secret Power“,  What a great theme!  Many say knowledge is power and when you read you certainly gain lots of knowledge.

Did you know that 23 April is a symbolic date in world literature?

On this day, several prominent authors including William Shakespeare, Miguel Cervantes and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega died. So it was the most natural choice for UNESCO’s General Conference, first held in Paris in 1995, to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors and encourage everyone to access books. This is why each year, on 23 April, World Book Day celebrates and promotes the enjoyment of books and reading. Celebrations take place all over the world to recognize the scope of books – a link between the past and the future, a bridge between generations and across cultures.

Get involved

Today, I’m asking all my friends, family, customers and colleagues to get involved with Book Week… This is how you can get involve:

  1. Gift a copy of your favourite book to someone. (MORE TRIVIA: 14th February is International Book Giving Day!)
  2. Donate pre-loved books to The Foot Path Library, Indigenous Literacy Foundation, Lifeline Bookfest, Spinal Injuries or injury rehab units at your local hospital, retirement,  homes,  Red Cross, Salvation Armies, your local church, school or community college library or one of the many local and international charities and community groups that assist those in need.
  3. Visit the book exchange with your old books and swap them for a preloved book you haven’t read. Most backpacker hostels, holiday resorts and caravan parks have book exchanges too.
  4. Read to someone you love or read on your own and discover the magic of books.
  5. Buy a book! Support an author and your local book store by buying a hard copy of their book in a store.
  6. Spend time at your local library or the State Library.  (They have extensive collections of paper crafting books…just saying!)
  7. Volunteer your time to teach someone to read.

So you have a few ideas of how to get involved so get out there! I’d love to know how you spent Book Week so leave a comment below.

I’m off to read my novel…

Until next time, Happy creating!


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