Litlove’s Love-In


I had a lovely surprise this morning which has put me in a tender and sentimental mood; a book from Ex Libris arrived for me in the post – the first of the John Dunning crime novels which I had read about and coveted at Patternings, but which are notoriously hard to get hold of in the UK. It looks fab, and I can’t wait to settle down to it with my cup of tea. It’s just so happened that lately several bloggers have been extraordinarily generous with offers to help me find books – Random Jottings, A Work in Progress and Patternings have all rushed to my assistance in various book quests and I am left marvelling again at the spirit of helpfulness and cooperation amongst book bloggers. What a community this is!



Now I know you are not supposed to say that reading literature makes you a better person; it’s probably true in any case that it doesn’t. But I do feel that certain qualities and character traits do crop up time and again in people who love literature. I could go on at length describing the generalised life stance of the book lover, but I won’t; suffice it to say that I’ve noticed that several book bloggers have been suffering one way or the other of late, feeling overworked, or under the weather, or damaged at the level of their vitality. Here’s a reminder of some of the fine life strategies that excessive pleasure gained from reading can provide you with:



1. No matter what the trouble is, given time we can turn it into a compelling anecdote for the edification, entertainment or moral education of others.



2. It’s not a fail safe plan, but it’s amazing how many times a really good book can take you out of yourself, cheer you up, or distract you from the insufficient present. Literature can always provide examples of people who have been through worse and still managed to find something funny to say about it.



3. People who like reading books like searching for the meaning in things, and it’s a proven fact that finding significance in what we do and in the events that happen to us, good or bad, is a way of procuring pleasure from life.



4. The really bad things: trauma, bereavement, illness and neuroses, can often only be assuaged by a slow and cautious process of transformation into narrative. Never underestimate the power of stories; they have provided us with a lifeline through the vagaries of existence since the birth of language. The more stories we have at our disposal, the more of those lifelines we hold in our hands.



5. Book bloggers have an extra support group: we have each other. There’s always something interesting going on, and there’s always a ready audience for the daily trials and tribulations. Reassuring, no?



Now by this point you are either feeling the warm fuzzies, or you are feeling nauseous, so I’ll bring my love-in to an end, with a reminder that you gain my profound appreciation just by turning up and reading my posts every so often! Ok, enough already! Back to the usual business tomorrow.



21 thoughts on “Litlove’s Love-In

  1. Warm fuzzies here. That was one inspiring recital of literature’s considerable comforts and pleasures. Thank you litlove.

    Possibly warm fuzzies are also due to a great day of voting in the United States and this morning’s news of Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation.

  2. This is fantastic. I’m saving and posting in my little grey cubicle here in my workspace, so I can be of good cheer.

    We love Lit, and we love you, Litlove!

  3. Emma – Welcome! I’ve just popped over to your site and want to say good luck with getting into Cambridge for economics. Methinks you’ll make it! Dear Bloglily, I need an education in American politics, but even from the little I know, I can see that would be a good thing! Dear Charlotte – so glad you are feeling better today. Readers rule! And dear LK – big love to you, too.

  4. From someone currently in her sick bed, can I just say this post is brilliant! Without wishing to sound sorry for myself, I’ve had a rough few weeks but it is literature that has sustained me through it all.

  5. Kimbofo – you have been SO poorly! I’ve been feeling so sorry for you. I do hope you get a bit better soon, and I’m glad to know you’ve had a few good books by your side. Dorothy – not that you’re having things any easier, either! Thinking of you, too.

  6. well warm fuzzies here. I am one of the bloggers who has been suffering (bad back) but it is getting better now. Sadly, the book I decided to read while flat on my back failed to lift my spirits, as books always do, so I ended up watching West Wing Series 7, the final one, which is just so superlative that it took my mind off everything.

    Since I began my blog I have had so many lovely visitors and it is wonderful to post, pop back and hour or so later and find loads of comments and feedback. It is even better when there is someone there you have never heard of, so you link on and find another delightful blog to add to one’s list, and so it goes on and on. Wonderful.

    My offer of looking for Death in a White Tie by Ngaio Marsh is still ongoing. Hardly any at the big booksale I attend but I am on a mission at the moment to track down a lot of these so rest assured as soon as I grab a copy it is yours!

  7. Emma – have just popped over to your site. My daughter went to Cambridge and had a simply great time there so good luck to you. And as I am a Chelsea fan may I just say that I think Jose is cool too…and I am considerably older than you I can assure you!!

  8. Nicely said! This is definitely a wonderful set of people–and I always miss days I can’t get through my (ever growing) blog roll! And lots of generous people when it comes to books!

  9. Hello everyone! It is a wonderful community we have here, and like Danielle, I just feel bad if I can’t get to visit everyone in a day! Elaine – just to say that I think Danielle has found the Marsh I wanted, so bless you for having been so good as to keep an eye out for me. I appreciate it so much, but I think we’ve tracked it down. I can see that the generosity of book bloggers means I’m far more likely to end up with two copies of what I’m after rather than none!

  10. Lovin’ the warm fuzzies!

    What a wonderful post. I’ve been feeling a tad blue lately because of being so overworked, that I haven’t had enough time to read or do any in-depth blog posts. Your warm fuzzy cheered me right up!

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