In the beginning, there were books…and they were good.
With World Book Day taking place on Thursday March 3rd, we’re taking a page-turning pause in Champ Towers to reflect on all things literary. The recent passing of awesome authors Harper Lee, Margaret Forster and Umberto Eco has made us wonder about which “must-reads” we have missed in our misspent life to date, and what our favourite books might say about us.
In honour of World Book Day – and to see how well-read you really are – we’d like you to take part in our A Champing™ Good Read competition. The first three correct entries will win a £10 Waterstones voucher. Read on…
The good book
Books are just fabulous, aren’t they? Those Mesopotamians couldn’t have known what they’d started with those clay tablets in 700 BC; it’s a whole new world. From the old-fashioned (!) paper kind with page corners to turn down and teacup stains to add, the Kindle variety with the smooth simplicity and audiobooks, read with great skill by famous folk and allowing one’s eyes the inconvenience of focused concentration; we’re spoilt rotten with the entertainment, knowledge and experiences offered to us by simply knowing our alphabet.
The simple act of reading a novel transports you to other places, other times and other people. Taking a book or two with me when Champing™ with the family in All Saints, Aldwincle last summer was truly brilliant, in a couple of unforeseen ways.
A Champing™ good read…
On arrival at the church, we discovered that the camping lanterns intended to light our way in the (very) dark country night had been mistakenly packed away in the van of the camera crew who he’d been there a few days before (more news of that in the next few weeks…oooh!?). The absence of light would have been fine for us grown-up’s, but Daughter No 2 really Does Not Like the Dark. However, after a few chapters of the latest exploits of the girls at Malory Towers read by torchlight, she drifted off to enjoy an extremely snorey sleep, in her camp bed surrounded by (battery-operated) candles.
This would have all been well, but Daughter No 1 is a dreadful room-fellow, as she prefers to sleep in a sealed chamber with no chink of light or a single, solitary noise – quite the princess with the pea. Daughter No 1 huffed and puffed so much at the noise Daughter No 2 was making (and by then, husband too) that by her fourth explosion of passive-aggressive irritation I was fully wide awake and doomed for insomnia – upon which she also fell asleep.
Looking at the lofty timber ceiling by moonlight and listening to the sound of deep rural silence was nice for the first few minutes, but got old quite quickly. Never knowingly under-stimulated, I remembered that I had brought a novel to read (The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters), which I sat up and read by torchlight. It was lovely to be spirited away from the cacophony of snores to 1920’s London, and after a few snatched hours of sleep (broken by throwing things at the snoring husband in his camp bed and reminding myself that I mustn’t do the same to my snoring cherubs, no matter how much I felt like it) I got up and read again, as the golden dawn light arrived through the tall clear glass windows.
Farmer Tim knocked on the church door at 8 o’clock with our enormous hot breakfast and everyone said how well they’d slept, and enquired how Daddy’s camp bed had random things strewn all around it. Hah.
In honour of World Book Day we’d like you to take part in our A Champing™ Good Read! competition. See if you know the novel title and author responsible for the opening lines of the following various literary classics. Just copy the 5 quotes below and paste them with your answers in an email to our ChampBots at firstname.lastname@example.org, remembering to add your name!
The first three correct entries will win a £10 Waterstones voucher, plus we’ll put their names on our website so everyone will know how dead clever they are, actually. Good luck!
- Mr. Jones, of the Manor Farm, had locked the hen-houses for the night, but was too drunk to remember to shut the pop-holes.
- Once there was a little girl called Sophie. She was having tea with her mummy in the kitchen. Suddenly there was a ring at the door. Sophie’s mummy said “I wonder who that could be”?
- It’s a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful.
- Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea).
- Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. It seemed to me I stood by the iron gate leading to the drive, and for a while I could not enter, for the way was barred to me.