Life, Death and Reading Matter…

Hello, Bookworms!

I usually say good evening, but I can’t really claim that it is a particularly good one for me right now as my maternal grandad passed away this morning, aged 91, having been ill for the past 3 weeks. Strange thing is, though, that I’ve felt reasonably OK today. I was more upset before he died, particularly in the previous two or three days, and especially when I downloaded some e-books about grief, loss and bereavement on my Kindle. Feeling that I needed that kind of reading matter made me cry. I think, though, that seeing my grandad in very poor health was the really upsetting thing. I saw him for the final time last night, still alive and just about awake as I wished him goodnight before leaving my grandparents’ home, so I guess he went back to sleep and just didn’t wake up this morning. Now his pain and discomfort is over and he can rest in peace and I can remember him as the younger, gardening Grandad that he was before he turned 80 in late 2000 and the arthritis started.

Now, I know what some of you bookworms might be thinking – that I’ll do a Nina Sankovitch, but my commitments, particularly my full-time job, mean that doing what she did in reading a book a day for an entire year is pretty much out of the question in my case. Bit of a shame, but I still see myself as taking comfort in reading as much as I can get read, even if it’s not to the extent of doing as Nina did in Tolstoy And The Purple Chair. I might dig that book out again and re-read it though. She had her year of reading following the death of her sister, who was a fellow bookworm. I often saw Grandad reading a newspaper, either the Manchester Evening News or the Daily Express, but I don’t actually remember him reading books. Not to say he didn’t, but I just remember him reading newspapers, mostly.

I’d started typing this blog entry and have only just thought of a title for it. It’s hard enough typing tonight, but finding a title for tonight’s entry was proving harder. I nearly considered Life, Death and Books, but as I said my grandad tended to read newspapers when I saw him reading, I couldn’t really just say books on this occasion and, so far in this blog, I’ve only actually mentioned one book, but I am now going to drag another into the equation as I bring up the subject, once again, of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Not only because it’s a favourite of mine and the book I shall be giving away 24 copies of for World Book Night on my forthcoming birthday, 23rd April, but also because Death is the narrator in this novel. I love how Zusak has written this novel from the Grim Reaper’s viewpoint, how Death goes about his job of collecting the souls from the deceased and how deeply he is affected by the surrounding survivors, especially as this novel is set in Nazi Germany just before and then during the Second World War. As it says in the blurb on the back of the book, “Death has never been busier”. He admits right at the end of the novel that he is haunted by us humans!

However, I have no wish to spoil things for you in case you’ve not read The Book Thief. I heartily recommend it and, as I said, in a matter of just over a week, I shall be giving out copies of this fantastic novel for free! Unlike Liesel Meminger, you won’t even have to resort to book thievery! Well, not if you’re somewhere in the vicinity of the Trafford Centre on Monday 23rd April! I have to stress, though, that this World Book Night event is to try and persuade those who are only light readers, or who don’t really read books at all, to read more books by letting them have one for nowt! I expect I shall get an email some time early on this coming week to notify me that I can collect my box of books for WBN from Waterstone’s in the Trafford Centre, which is my agreed collection point.

For now, though, I’m calling it a night on the blogging front. Sorry it’s only short and not one of my epic blogs. I expect I’ll return to form soon enough, but I’ve had a difficult few days and, obviously, the funeral is yet to come. In the meantime I hope those of you who read my blogs are well and I shall end with the usual take care and Happy Reading!

Books mentioned in this blog entry:

  • Tolstoy And The Purple Chair – Nina Sankovitch
  • The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
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