I could not manage without my daily 'fix'. It has always been thus since I learned to read at about the age of four. Now it is The Times every day, the local paper on a Friday, The Lady magazine each Friday, four books from the Library every fortnight and anything else which is either put in my direction from various friends or about which I read a favourable review and can't resist from that 'so easy to order' Amazon. I have a permanent list of my favourite authors in my handbag and have an extra thrill if I happen to find one of their books I haven't read. I also have a bookshelf by my chair which contains various books which I read in odd moments - books which I have read many times (some in diary form) but always enjoy again. All Ronald Blythe's books (The Wormingford Trilogy, River Diary, The Time by the Sea, The Yeoman's House etc.) sit there, as do Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea (I sometimes think I could go on Mastermind to answer questions about those two books!).
The farmer, on the other hand, never reads a book. He reads his daily Yorkshire Post, his weekly Darlington and Stockton Times and his weekly Farmers' Guardian - and when I say 'read' I mean he literally reads them from cover to cover and the last two take him all week.
What makes some of us avid readers and others not? I have recently read of several famous figures who have never read a book in their lives. Maybe it is something about the way in which we were brought up.
In a family where there was always a lot of work on the farm to be done, I think that reading was probably frowned on as being a waste of time which could be more usefully be spent doing some job which waited.
My parents, on the other hand, were both avid readers. In those pre-television days after tea was reserved for maybe an hour's homework, or if I hadn't any then perhaps an hour's pencil and paper games (which I loved and which taught me so much). After that until bedtime we all three read. My father read mainly poetry from his large collection of books. The only book other than poetry that I remember him reading (it was almost his bible) was 'The Ragged, Trousered Philanthropist'. My mother, on the other hand, read romantic novels and I was reminded of this earlier in the week when there was an article in The Yorkshire Post about Naomi Jacobs, one of my mother's favourite romantic novelists.
Jacobs was born in Ripon and was a real eccentric. Gay long before such activity was legal, she advertised the fact by always wearing mens' clothes, sporting a monocle and having her hair cut into an Eton crop. She was very forthright, and spent most of her life living in Italy, going shortly before the end of the Second World War. Being Jewish she was affronted, much to the embarrassment of the man at Passport Control, when he did not stamp her passport with the J which had become the law at the time of the Nazi regime.
Reading through this there is a certain amount of 'Stream of Consciousness' to today's post - I am a past master at this art as the farmer often points out. I start on one subject and then go off at a tangent onto something else. Still, it makes life interesting doesn't it?