I am feeling rather excited. I am about to become reacquainted with someone for the first time in almost two decades. Her name is Prue Sarn and she appears in the pages of Mary Webb’s Precious Bane. I first read this novel when I was at university. I remember going to the bookshop with my friend; she bought Precious Bane and I bought EM Forster’s Maurice. Once we’d read our own books, we swapped. I hadn’t thought about Precious Bane for years until something put it into my mind last week. I looked on eBay; there it was and it arrived today. A small, navy blue hardback volume dating from 1927, three years after the novel was first published.
I adore books. I read in bed, I read in the bath, I read on journeys when I am not driving. I was banned from reading at the table when I was a child, so as soon as I left home, I started doing that too. I read all sorts – I have shelves full of racing thrillers and I have helped add to JK Rowling’s fortune, as well as reading ‘proper books’. My all time favourite is Brideshead Revisited. It always makes me laugh - and cry.
There will always be so many books and so little time, but I do enjoy re-reading certain volumes. A fleeting thought, the weather, the time of year – any of these can send me to the shelf looking for a particular book. I keep promising myself that I will read 1984 again soon. I read it in 1984 because I thought I ought to; I think I’ll get more out of it this time around.
My brother hates old books that have already been owned by someone. I think that’s part of the charm. My copy of Rebecca had a paper dust jacket (which I have managed to lose) that said ‘Price Held in Spite of War’. On the flyleaf, it says ‘Nora E Holdforth. October holiday 1940’. I hope she had a good holiday and I hope she enjoyed Rebecca as much as I did.
Anyway, I have to dash: I have a book to read.