I'd completely forgotten about the LibraryThing End-of-Year read-a-thon until this morning, oops. It started at 11pm last night when I was already asleep, and I spent my early morning watching the penultimate episode of Merlin (hic) and the last Have I Got News For You instead of reading a book. Which is unusual for me these days, so I'll let it slide!
I read quite a bit before lunch at work because the wind and rain were keeping the customers at bay (the sensible ones, anyway), and even though it picked up a bit in the afternoon I'd managed to read about 45 pages by the time we closed up for the day. After work I ate minced beef and mushroom stroganoff - my favourite! - and sipped strawberry and banana smoothie and read a bit more. Now I'm going to bed reaaaaallly early, just because I can't really be bothered to do anything else. It's that kind of evening. :)
Although I've technically got three books on the go, I've been concentrating on Meet Me Under the Mistletoe by Abby Clements recently. I didn't manage to start it before Christmas and as it happens, it's been just what the doctor ordered for this busy little no-man's land between Christmas and New Year. It's basically a proper old-fashioned girlie novel about two very different friends - single London fashion designer Laurie and family-centric Yorkshire housewife Rachel - who wind up house-swapping before Christmas when Rachel's mother-in-law is taken ill and has to see a specialist in London. It's a little like The Holiday in some ways, only without the inevitable budding romance at both ends! Or, y'know, the whole LA sunshine thing. I get the feeling it's going to be all about the women discovering a new side to themselves, fighting for the important things in their lives, and getting a happy ending by Christmas. Or so I hope...
This morning I got up at 6am, made a huge mug of tea and read a chapter of my book. I'm still very much enjoying it - an unexpectedly poignant moment made me cry within minutes of picking it up again - but I couldn't get over the mention of 'Steve Carrell in an elf costume' in a movie where 'they have to sing to make Santa's sleigh take off' at the end. One, it's Steve Carell (one R!) and two, it's WILL FERRELL in Elf. Bad editing there, and a bit of a 'look what pop culture I know' gaffe as well. *shakes head sadly*
I had my usual healthy breakfast of a humungous choc chip muffin and an equally humungous mug of coffee, reading all the while, and found myself tearing up AGAIN. Possibly twice. I was a bit worried that this might keep happening at work if things were going to get all heart-warming and weepy in Under the Mistletoe-Ville! Nothing worse than being caught unawares by a sad moment on the shop counter, trying to stop yourself welling up, and not being QUITE sure how far down your face your mascara has migrated. ;)
As it happens, I didn't need to worry, because I didn't read a thing for the rest of the day... What can I say, there were customers, and I got swept up online, and I did blogging, and there was telly...
I didn't read a single page today. Which is going to make finishing Meet Me Under the Mistletoe in time for the New Year impossible, but oh well. I'll finish it tomorrow instead - in the MEANTIME, I am finally going to watch Julie and Julia, eat cake, and go to bed. Happy New Year!
Aaaaah, a much better reading day today. I had a feeling it might be! With New Year's Day off to relax and read, I ploughed through a big chunk of Meet Me Under the Mistletoe - and would probably have reached the end had it not been for the realisation that if I didn't move fast the final episode of Merlin was going to disappear off iPlayer forever.
And when I'd recovered from THAT traumatic experience (Oh, the bromance! OH, THE FEELS!), I watched Charlie Brooker's 2012 Wipe as well. I make a point of watching anything with the words Charlie Brooker and Wipe in it - Screenwipe, Newswipe - because he's a frickin' genius. He hits the nail on the head every time and is even more sardonic than me, I love it! In fact, why didn't he make it onto my Top Ten Unconventional Crushes again?! *facepalm*
Anyway, I DID read plenty, and really enjoyed it too. I'm not sure I like it QUITE as much as Sophie Kinsella's The Undomestic Goddess in the 'fish out of water' chick lit stakes, but it's definitely up there. There were some really heartwarming moments that had me welling up unexpectedly, and a bit of a twist to the story that I really did NOT see coming, which is always good. Just thirty or so pages to go, and I'll be free to start my first book of 2013!
Well, I probably WOULD have read quite a bit today, had it not been for yet another online directory-related shop crisis. You may remember that the very same thing happened ON THE SAME DAY LAST YEAR. I'm sorry to say that the same website struck again. The directory has nothing to do with us and clearly uses cobbled-together (wrong) information from other (dodgy) sources, but as a result a few collectors have gathered there to spew venom about our shop nevertheless.
I'm sick of this crap now. We're a tiny bookshop in a tiny town, but the number of men who stride up and down the floor and bark "Is this it?!" or "Surely you have an upstairs?" or "There's nothing in here!"... OH MY GOD NOT ALL SHOPS CAN BE ENORMOUS. It's so frickin' rude - not to mention embarrassing! So I spent my day trying to calm my furious shaking (you know, where every muscle feels like it's spasming uncontrollably), unleashing my inner Bernard Black in an email to the website owner (who had tried to suck up to the angry wasted-drive man by claiming it was our fault our information wasn't correct), ranting on Twitter, and otherwise thinking dark thoughts about how I wanted to shut the shop, come home, cry and eat myself into a coma before retiring to bed with a book.
So, yeah, not a good day for reading. I'm too wired to concentrate! It's like a permanent nervous feeling, all the adrenaline buzzing in my arms and legs, it's horrible. So right NOW, I'm going to get in bed with cake and Gilmore Girls and try very hard to wind down. GRRRR, I'M READY TO GET OUT OF THIS BUSINESS NOW!
Can I get an hallelujah please? Just a little one? After about sixteen hours of twitching like a cat on a hot tin roof, and much unpleasant emailing backwards and forwards with The Webmaster (*snorts*), I finally managed to persuade him to just take our listing THE HELL OFF his website. Yes, there is now a line that pretty much says "This owner didn't like her reviews and refused our GRACIOUS OFFER to let her correct her shop information, so sod off, she's outta here" - but hey, no more forum for nasty collectors to bitch about how we're WRONG AND UNNATURAL because we use a duster, and that little comment is sadly still about a million times better than what was there before.
So now I'm finally free to relax and start to wind down towards our week off, woohoo! I had a long hot shower when I got home, I've had classic comfort food for tea - toast and marmalade and a cuppa, yay - and because I finished Meet Me Under the Mistletoe at breakfast time, I can now plunge headfirst into the introduction of my beautiful clothbound hardcover edition of Jane Eyre. After that I plan to watch an episode of Gilmore Girls - the one where Lorelai and Luke go to Liz's wedding together and she looks SO BEAUTIFUL - and have a really good night's sleep. I'm happy now. :)
Today at the shop I heard the words "It's all books", "This used to be a charity shop" and "No thanks, I'll buy it cheaper on my Kindle later". ALL MY FAVOURITE THINGS. Which would have made it the perfect day to read Jane Eyre, I think you'll agree. In the end, however, I mostly ended up fighting with Blogger (where'd the 'Browse' upload option thingy go for pictures? And why won't my pics format properly on here without unwrapping all the text? Huh? HUH?), chatting to Dad and his lovely girlfriend, reading old emails and blog hopping. I would also have liked to have done reading after work, but I went to Next instead and then spent lots of time reading articles on Cracked. *sighs*
This morning I did, however, read another bit of the Jane Eyre introduction by Stevie Davies, which is quite long and academic but very interesting. Not recommended for those who haven't read the book before, because it goes deep and has plenty of colossal spoilers, but I really enjoyed it! I particularly liked the section 'My Master: Power, Sexuality and Marriage', which summed up why Rochester - and the book - is so attractive, I think:
"Rochester is on the literal level Jane's 'master' as a member of the landed gentry and her employer. But Jane's use of the word is sexually charged: it counts almost as an endearment and a sign of the sexual attraction the Byronic and masterful Rochester has for Jane... This dynamic contrariety gives the work its nearly unflagging impetus and the central character her energy and interest."Yes, yes, I can totally see that... *quietly switches on shower, turns it down to 'Arctic' and hops in*
On that note, I'll sign off for this week. I've rather enjoyed this reading journal thing, I reckon it might have to be a regular thing! Do you think I should keep going? I have, after all, been pondering trying to make the blog more of a conversation about books, an ongoing journey, rather than worrying too much about saving ALL MY THOUGHTS for a proper review at the end of each book (which takes me hours and hours every time).
What say you, dear readers?