If you’re anything like me then you probably have an unhealthy attachment to most books. You can’t bear to get rid of them, even though their piled up under your bed, in your cupboard, one literary Jenga game waiting to tumble down and knock you senseless. You would probably still love them even then. But, like with most of the objects we collect, there are certain books that mean something more to me. It might be to do with the writing, the way a book makes me feel, or it might be because it was a gift, or I read it at a certain time. So, what with the dreaded move which involved a look of book lifting and rearranging, I thought now would be the perfect time to revisit some of the books that have a special meaning to me.
Stephen King on Writing and For Esme with Love and Squalor by J D Salinger
These were my most recent gifts from two very lovely writerly friends as a good luck present for starting my internship and leaving Liverpool. I’ve wanted to read Stephen King’s advice on writing for a while, and to give Salinger another shot, and although I haven’t read them yet they make me think of how encouraging those people have been about my writing and that’s a great confidence boost and a big motivator. They also wrote inside them, and it’s those little personal touches that make a book special.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
My parents bought me a very, very old copy of Emily Bronte’s classic for Christmas last year. It’s older than me, and I’m terrified of touching it most of the time. I like books that have a history and this one definitely does. It also reminds me how supportive my parents have been over the last few years, they’re my fiercest cheerleaders and they’ve always let me go my own way.
Autumn by Ali Smith
My lovely, lovely friend bought me this book a few weeks ago for my birthday as well as some other bookish treats. There’s nothing better than a bookish birthday and although we don’t always get time to see each other because life can be a bit annoying and throw a million and one things at you, we still touch base. This book is a little reminder of her (and a prompt for me to text once in a while, because she knows how rubbish I am at keeping in contact)
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
This was a gift from my dad last year, and I was so sad when my drink leaked in my bag and warped the pages. I spent a lot of time making sure that book didn’t get damaged and then the worst happened. But despite its slightly curled pages and wonky spine, it’s still a story my dad wanted to share with me. And what a relief I actually loved it!
Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce
I can really clearly remember my dad reading this to me as a child, and being completely transported into the story. It was magical and moving and it kept me and my brother quite for a while. Its the quality time spent reading that comes to mind whenever I see this book.
Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
I bought this book nearly three years ago when I went up to Liverpool to interview for my MA course. The interview went well, and I went down to Waterstones and bought Mrs Dalloway, a Raymond Carver book and a Jane Austen mug. Two years later, I’ve finished my course, found what I want to do as a career, and interning at a literary agents. It all started the day I bought this book.
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
I bought this book when I was working in Waterstones as a temp. I didn’t really take advantage of that discount enough really, but this was the book that stood out from all the others I bought. Plath’s writing is nothing short of beautiful and she has a way of getting under your skin and staying there. If there was one book I had to read again and again, The Bell Jar would be it.