Book Bits & Bobs

Society tells us that girls wouldn’t be girls without carrying round a compact mirror to touch up in or their signature colour lipstick (my colours red for those wondering) but I think that as true as that sometimes may be there are equally important things that all bookworms (both guys and dolls alike) need to have with them at all times. This is my list of important things to always carry around when you’re a bibliophile.

I’m going to start with the obvious but for me I always have to be carrying a book with me in my bag. Of course it’s usually whatever I’m currently reading but as I’m approaching the end of a book I always carry a backup. That’s right sometimes I’m carrying not one but TWO books. The reason? Because if my train gets delayed or I have some time to kill whilst waiting for a friend, I like to spend it with my nose in a book and I’d rather know I’m making a start on a new adventure than wasting my time scrolling through Facebook on my phone.


A notebook. I like to carry a notebook so I can jot down quotes or questions about things that hit me when I’m reading book, I find it helpful if I can reflect and see whether or not I feel my questions are answered/made clear through the events that transpire. It also helps if I can jot down initial thoughts/emotions I experience when reading. Sometimes when you’re reading multiple books or other things get in the way it can be hard to recall what those first initial thoughts were.


Page pointers or sticky tabs. These were a recent purchase, I love them for quite a few reasons, I can pop them next to quotes or passages of text that I want to refer back on when writing up my reviews. They don’t damage the pages and can be re-used (sticky tabs are an ok substitute but they lose their stick and get creased) It prevents having to dog ear the page (which to me is an offence to all books, why destroy something??)


Headphones and music. Don’t get me wrong sometimes I just like silence when I’m reading but this is incredibly rare. My husband will be playing PS4 or watching football, or the cats will be in destructo mode and cause a trail of mess in the bedroom upstairs or the kitchen. Either way it’s hard to get full on silence when reading so the next best thing is sticking in some headphones and choosing a book appropriate soundtrack whilst reading. Sometimes it will be instrumental stuff, other times it will be generic pop music, either way something that acts as a background distraction and will allow me to immerse myself in the book is going to make me happy. Although I did recently come across an article that said white noise is good to listen to for focus. Who knows? I might give it a try.

My phone. Not for the reason I complained about above but for snaps and inspiration. Sometimes if I’m stuck in a decision making rut, I will search for tags and see what other books are getting people excited. Other times I may be having a short month and see a book that sounds great from the blurb so I’ll snap a photo of it on my phone or add the ISBN number or title of it on to my Goodreads account. Either way my phone has been a great tool for my reading sometimes.


A good cuppa! That’s right folks despite being English and loving a cup of tea, I sometimes enjoy the occasional coffee, either way it’s always nice to have a warm beverage nearby when curling up with a good book.

I’d love to know if there’s anything else that other bookworms out there always like to have on them/use on a daily basis. So get in touch using the comments box below, who knows there may be something I’m missing from my bibliophile arsenal that will help improve my reading experiences going forward.

Happy Reading fellow bookworms.



An Open Letter – To My Dad

I wanted to share this, in the hope that anyone else who has lost someone close to them will know they’re not alone or abnormal. Even now 6 years on its not easy, this is my open letter to my dad.

Dear Dad,

It’s still there, the hole you left. People told me I’d get used to it but it still seems to have a flashing neon sign placed above it saying ‘vital piece missing here’ Sometimes I see you when I’m walking down the street and it takes my breath away, and then the faceless stranger turns round and I realise it’s just someone who has your hair or walks the same way. I catch your scent on suited men during my commute to work and I feel the pit of my stomach drop as I remember how my tears caught into the breast of your jacket before it was pulled away and discarded into a black bin bag.

I remember the way everything amplified the day after we said goodbye, like the whole world had stopped breathing, waiting for the moment when it would realise that your foot would never again leave an imprint in the grains of sand on a beach. It waited for you to open your eyes, to make a strong cup of coffee and refuse to throw away your favourite slippers that had holes in the bottom. The book on the fireplace with yellowed pages and glasses resting on top waiting for the owner to pick it up and thumb through the adventures held within. The world waited, and so did I.

I’m still waiting, even after all this time I hope that I will wake up and it would have all been a long and cruel dream, so vivid it felt real. I hope, I sometimes even pray, but my heart weighs heavy with the pain and realisation that it isn’t a dream. A golf ball builds in my throat and warm tears fall from my eyes. I can ask why and say it wasn’t, isn’t, fair but it does no good. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve fallen to my knees and cried for you. Some people would look and ask if you’re worth it, but those who actually had the pleasure of meeting you, wonderful, precious you, they know that yes, you are. You’re worth all the tears I shed and more. Sometimes I say ‘Dad?’ out loud, and for a moment I expect to hear you respond, but you never do. The word sounds foreign on my tongue now as though the word shouldn’t exist without you here to physically represent it, it feels hollow and empty.

I carry you with me everywhere I go, you surround me on a daily basis. You’re the man who opens the door for the lady struggling with bags, the old couple holding hands on the bus, the young child who looks at the world around him in awe. You’re the selflessness I see in my mother and the strength I see in my brother, you’re the love I see in them both. You’re reflected in the safety and contentment I feel in the arms of my husband William, who I know you would have loved. It’s an injustice that you can’t be here to see me, to see us. Or even see the rain fall from the grey sky only to be followed by the sun. People told me I’d learn to live with the pain, that things would get easier but the more distance that grows between now and that night only seems to make the pain grow stronger, more prominent. I no longer remember what your voice sounds like and I wish I could, I used to be able to recall it so vividly but now I find myself in a sea of confusion with furrowed brow as I try to recall the tone, but try as I might I can’t remember and it’s like losing you all over again.

The terrible thing about death is that it’s hard to explain the departed to someone who never met them. I don’t think I do you any justice when I talk to William about you, I get frustrated as I try to recall every detail of just how special you were, and continue to be, to me and those you who knew you. You were a blessing, and even now as I write this I find myself falling into a panic because I can’t just pick up a phone and hear your voice or get on a train and give you a hug. I wonder sometimes if I told you enough when you were alive what you really meant to me, if I let you know how much I loved you and I don’t believe I did, not enough anyway, not as much as you deserved to be told. The truth is, now you’re gone we’re fractured, broken, we all have pieces missing and I continue to try and be the little pot of glue that holds us all together. But sometimes I wake up and you not being here is just so hard to comprehend that getting out of bed seems like the most strenuous of tasks. It’s hard to be the glue when all you want is for someone to fix you too.

We miss you, every second, every minute, hour, day, week, month and year. Time cannot heal us because this is what love is, it’s the pain as well the joy, the lows as well as the highs. We need to take them hand in hand, because that’s the price we must pay for being blessed with someone like you in our life. You were the best dad and I pity the people who never met you, William, Kim, your future grandchildren (who will be told about you every day) and everyone else who has wandered into our lives since you left.

I don’t know what tomorrow has to hold nor do I hold the foresight to see into my future but I do know this, the space you left in my life when you died will never be filled, I will continue to carry you with me every day in my heart and in my mind. The pain won’t get easier because I will never love you any less, only more.

Forever loving you, your little girl.



P.S. I haven’t forgotten your promise, I’ll meet you at the moon.