#booksinourhands | a collaboration

I was recently invited to join a local book group consisting of some wonderful school mums. I eagerly awaited our first meeting… and every meeting since! I love talking about books, I love hearing what other people think about books, I love learning more about how people read; discovering the nuances they find in strings of words that I have glossed over, and vice versa. #nerdalert

Over the past few years I have occasionally shared what I am reading on instagram, and here on this blog too, and have always been surprised at the amount of conversation my piles of (usually randomly combined) books have generated.

Last week at book group (while discussing this book) a conversation was had over who could read e-books and who couldn’t. I’m firmly in the couldn’t (can’t/won’t?) camp and it intrigued me to hear that one woman is able to read whole books on the screen of her phone! I’m still thinking about that, in a gee-whiz kind of way. While I can manage to read a lot of things on the phone or screen, a book on screen is simply a no-go-zone.

Holding a book in my hands, I feel the texture of the paper: the silk, the grit. Sitting up late underneath lamplight, the scrape of a turning page rings out in the silence of the night. The solidity, the essence of a real book is difficult to replace. You can lose yourself in a book in a way that you can’t within the confines of a screen, with all its flashy backlighting, unnatural curves and myriad distractions.

So.

After much deliberation (and typing of hashtags into instagram to find one that is completely fresh and available) I have decided to launch the #booksinourhands hashtag. A collaboration with you, friends, where we can share what we are reading. A place to share thoughts, contributions and ideas. I LOVE seeing what others are reading. I don’t care if you’re reading nothing but cookbooks or holiday fiction or podiatry handbooks. Political memoirs, short stories, self-help or travel. I might have to draw the line at sports biographies though. But I’ll try to be open minded.

Let’s see where it goes. Perhaps it will just be me, waving books around against my kitchen wall, nerding out all alone. So be it.

Tell me, what are book are you carrying around at the moment? Is it luring you onto the couch at any opportunity, or are you searching for something better? Use the hashtag #booksinourhands over on instagram to tell us all about it.

(squints eyes, grits teeth, presses publish)

Lost My Name: A Book Review (+ Giveaway)

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When a package containing three books for my daughters arrived in the post a couple of weeks ago, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The lovely people at lostmy.name had contacted me to tell me about their books and offered to send me one for each of my girlies, in return for this book review*. I receive many emails of this nature, and say no to most of them. But I had a look at the website and after a few emails backwards and forwards, I agreed. And when the books arrived I was ever so glad I had!

The personalised soft cover books are printed on lovely thick matte paper, and contain wild stories about little girls (or boys) who have lost their name. Each book is unique: when you order you type in your child’s name, sex and you can then choose a character to be pictured throughout. Lucky for me, there were three girls to choose from, so each of my three books has a different character to represent each kid. The stories are written in poem form and once I got the flow I found them entertaining to read.

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The character wakes up one morning only to realise she has lost her name, and goes on a wonderful adventure to try to find herself. Along the way she meets a collection of animals and creatures who offer a letter to help her. By the end of the book your little character has received each letter of their name, which was a wonderful surprise for both Bird (aged six) and Pixie (aged three and a half). (I’ve saved the third book to give little Peach for her first birthday in a couple of weeks! And those of you who are long time readers will know I don’t just throw any old thing into the present pile for the girls’ birthdays.)

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As I needed three books, during the ordering process I was asked if I would like to exchange some of the creatures to avoid repetition in the books, which I thought was a great touch. As we have multiple Ls and Es and As throughout the girls’ names, I think there ended up being one repeated creature in two of the books, but aside from that they were all fresh and individual. The children didn’t seem to notice the repetition as I was reading, and upon finishing begged me to read them again immediately. When ordering you can also preview your book before purchasing.

While the books are quite lengthy (and would be more so if your child had a very long name), the illustrations are engaging and the poem format easy to read.

Now the good news is that the folk at lostmy.name are offering one motherwho reader a free book!

You can enter the giveaway a maximum of three times by:

1/ subscribing to motherwho via email (over on the side bar)

2/ liking motherwho on facebook

3/ sharing this giveaway on Facebook or instagram

Leave a comment here with your email address for each entry so that I can contact you if you are the winner. The competition will be closed on Sunday 5th June at midnight and the winner will be announced on Monday 6th. Good luck!

++ COMMENTS CLOSED, CONGRATULATIONS AMBERB! ++

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While I did agree to write this review in exchange for three books, I have written an honest post with my true opinion of these books.

our generation

I was watching Baby reading tonight. Prince Charming and I were finishing off our dinner and having a chat at the table. The little tot took herself off to the bookshelf, threw a few books around before selecting the one she wanted. She walked over to the couch, climbed up, hauled a teddy up behind her and preceded to flick through the pages. This occupied her for a few minutes, after which she brought the book over to show us.

We were talking about her children, and wondering if they would ever be sitting on the couch reading books, or throwing books around in piles. Feeling the texture of the pages, the weight of the cover. Flipping through and looking at the pictures. Getting a paper cut. And does it really matter? Does it add to the experience of reading? Is it part of reading, to feel the slightly rough surface of a page beneath your fingertips?

We imagined the same scene, Baby on the couch, skimming her finger across an iPad or kindle, reading a book she had chosen from a list of pictures on a screen. I don’t mean to sound old fashioned (or do I…), but it just didn’t seem to hold the same magic.