A Bookworm’s A-Z

Just for a bit of fun on the blog tonight, I present my bookworm’s A-Z…

A is for Author – of course it is!  Without these talented individuals there would be no books, no book blog, and no bookworm’s A-Z…

B is for Bookshop – forget your soulless online outlets: if you want to experience the true thrill of hard-core book buying, a bricks-and-mortar bookshop is the only place to be.

C is for Curating – how do you curate your bookshelves?  It’s an important question for any bona fide bookworm; by colour, author, genre?  The possibilities are endless.

D is for Dog ears – are these a travesty or a practicality?  I know which side I come down on, and it’s not the latter…

E is for Expectation – there is very little as joyfully tantalising as the wait for a new book by a favourite author.  The flip side is of course that, just occasionally, the eagerly anticipated novel turns out not to live up to expectations: heart-breaking.

F is for Festival – really decent literary festivals aren’t something you find on your doorstep every day, but if you can get to one it’s a fantastic opportunity to get up close and personal with writers and their work.

G is for Goodreads – when it comes to sharing thoughts and opinions on books, this website is one of the best there is: a real community of booklovers.

H is for Hardback – for me, as for many people I think, hardbacks are a real treat, an indulgence to be saved for a book or author you REALLY love.

I is for Imagination – I feel I should insert one of those twee quotes that you find online at this point, but there’s no disputing that readers have some of the best imaginations out there, and books give us the opportunity to escape into a new imaginary world every day.

J is for Judging (a book by its cover!) – no, we all know we shouldn’t do it… and yes, we all do.

K is for Kindles – personally, I can think of nothing more dreadful than reading on a cold, impersonal electronic device, but there’s no denying that, for good or ill, they’ve completely changed the way we consume our books.

L is for Library – one of my earliest memories is going to the local library and I firmly believe we need to fight for their existence until the last breath.

M is for Man Booker – for some, literary prizes are a great way of getting book recommendations and for others they’re elitist and off-putting.  All I can say, as someone who’s worked in the book trade for a pretty long time, is that the grandfather of all awards, the Man Booker prize, still sparks some really lively debate among colleagues and customers alike.

N is for New book smell – you can only call yourself a true book lover if you are in some small way addicted to the smell of new books.  Fact.

O is for Obsession – following on nicely from N, the genuine booklover is obsessed with everything about books: smell, cover design, typefaces….there should probably be a helpline for this…

P is for Proof copies – one of the privileges of being either an industry insider or a book blogger, this: the proof copy, the as yet unpublished book in all its raw, unvarnished glory – and all before anyone else has got their hands on it, yay!

Q is for Quiet – we’re not all antisocial weirdos who seal ourselves inside our bookcaves at every opportunity…but we do like a bit of peace and quiet to get on with our latest read.

R is for Recommendations – whether it’s reading reviews online or getting books pressed into our hands by friends and family, one of the joys of reading is recommending and being recommended to.  I’ve discovered so many amazing novels this way.

S is for Saga – from “Game of Thrones” to the seemingly endless works of Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, we all love a good saga.  Except when something really irritating happens, like the author decides they want to concentrate on spin-off novellas instead…

T is for TBR pile – it lurks accusingly on the bedside table, it peers out from down the side of the sofa….and it NEVER GETS SMALLER.

U is for Underrated – we can all think of an author who we feel is criminally underappreciated by the world at large.  Mine is Jude Morgan; I’m sure you’ll have your own that you champion at every opportunity.

V is for Vlogging – I’ve not yet ventured into vlogging territory, and something tells me I probably never will, but I have nothing but admiration for the people who are un-selfconscious enough to get in front of camera to share their love of books.

W is for Waterstones  – that bastion of high street bookselling never disappoints me; whichever town or city I’m in, you can guarantee I’ll sniff one out and drag my unfortunate companions in for hours.

X is for Xenopus – well, we’re now down at the anticlimactic, barrel-scraping bottom of the alphabet.  I scoured the Oxford English Dictionary and couldn’t find a single word beginning with X that related even vaguely to books, so I went for this.  Apparently it’s a kind of African toad; totally irrelevant, but it’s a great word.  Remember it for Scrabble.

Y is for York – I was living in this gorgeous city when I got my first job in a bookshop – and that was the start of a career in books that I’ve loved from the minute I first stepped through that door.

Z is for Zinfandel – this seems the perfect way to round off my bookworm’s alphabet: with a glass of white zinfandel, undoubtedly the ideal accompaniment to an evening’s reading!

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