Thought so! Reading is the perfect escapism at stressful times like these, so we can’t have you running out of other worlds to romp through… oh no!
I admit it, I’m a page-corner turner-overer*. I know this crime is almost equivalent to murder in the eyes of dedicated bookmark users, but I have my reasons.
Books are such tactile things; they feel good in your hands and all those wonderful words you are holding up have a pleasing weight. I like my books to feel like they are being read. The books I read over and over again know they are loved because the edges of their pages don’t lie flat, and the spines are flexible and crooked with affection. There might be the ring of a tea-mug stain on the cover. Or a red circle from a wine glass. The crevices might be crackly with sand where I’ve read on the beach, or the pages warped with water where I’ve read in the bath.
My favourite books have a physical personality all of their own and bear the scars of my love. (The one shown above is my copy of ‘Northern Lights’ by Phillip Pullman.)
Which was why I felt truly happy to find
When somebody totally gets what you were trying to say, understands how your world works, and bonds with characters you gave birth to, it’s like a little bit of sparkly magic.
The old fairy stories are not known for their strong female roles. Off the top of my head, there seem to be four main types of women who constantly appear…
In which Dr Williams comes across another strange petition in the intriguing medieval Blackwood archives…
Witches don’t exist. Not the ones who fly around on broomsticks cackling at the moon and turning people into frogs. That was all made up by some nasty men to get rid of little old ladies who knew a lot about plants and healing, but not much about the Lord. Of course, that’s a very broad sweep over the subject because I can’t go into it now.
In which Dr Williams comes across another strange petition in the Blackwood archives…
“You are my champion,” Silas told Christina, blushing a little. “My family all died, and here you are seeking revenge, not just for yourself, but for me, and others like me. You have enough courage for the whole of Blackwood. I just wanted to say ‘thank you’ because I may not have another chance.”
She looked flattered and amazed at the same time, then examined the remains of her flower. “Nobody has ever said anything as nice as that before. I thought everybody saw me as a blood-hungry madwoman, driven insane by my curse.”
Meanwhile, Silas was lobbing half of the faerie cake into the river.
“SNAPDRAGONS!” he shouted.
Tapping his foot on the lush grass of the riverbank, he waited for a response. The river was very deep and fast and he did not relish the idea of swimming across it. The very idea struck fear into him when he thought of his father’s hand disappearing into the raging grey water as it had carried him away once upon a time. Still, he was prepared to do it if…
“’Ere I am. Don’t be going getting your tunic in a twist,” came a familiar voice, gurgling up from the depths.
“Just one question,” asked Mab. “Where will I be?”
“You will be looking after my horse,” replied Lady Christina, briskly. “Now, Silas, are you ready?”
She turned to the door.
“Wait,” Mab said, momentarily confused. “The horse is staying here. Are you telling me I must stay here too?”