Monthly Archive for November, 2011

Book Group Baby

Thanks to all of you who came yesterday both at lunchtime and in the evening to chew the cud over ‘Mr Chartwell’ – and an especial thanks to Ruth and Steve who are expecting their first baby any day. I’m hoping next month you might bring the baby for us all to coo over. It made me think about how important books are for new parents. In those first few months when the world feels hyper-real and you’re swamped by huge tides of emotions books provide an anchor. I read avidly when both my daughters were born – when I was feeding them, when I was lying alongside the crib trying to get them off to sleep, when they were ill with chickenpox, raging colds and in one memorable case ‘Hand, Foot and Mouth’ virus (yes, it exists in humans too) and the books kept me sane. I wasn’t able to concentrate for any length of time so short stories and poetry were a lifeline and their intensity fitted in with my feelings at the time. Then I went on to experience the pleasure of reading to them myself, watching them light up when familiar books were read to them each night, and then see them read on their own. My eldest daughter is now taking English at ‘A’ level and as I looked through her essay the other night I thought about all the books that have accompanied us along the way. I recently put some of those old favourites in the attic the other week, unable to bring myself to clear them out. What are the children’s books you’d never part with?