In Praise of Libraries

stack of books

Libraries have always been a big part of my life.

I remember the excitement of finally being old enough to join the tiny library in the village where I grew up; the responsibility of having a card to look after; the solemnity of the ritual where I would approach the counter with my chosen books and stand watching while the librarian stamped each one with a return date.

(25 years later I am still slightly ashamed that I was once careless enough to lose a book from that library. Sorry sorry sorry. I have no idea where it went.)

At primary school I was selected to be a student librarian. It was a pretty unexciting job – one for those of us who were diligent and smart, but not popular enough to be elected house captain. Still, it won me a red enamel badge with gold lettering, which I pinned to my denim jacket with pride. Continue reading

Stories for Our Not So Distant Future

Beacons Stop Climate Chaos

This time six years ago I was not a blogger. I was not a mum. I was not even married.

Six years ago, I worked full time for a coalition called Stop Climate Chaos. I would describe it to people as the climate change equivalent of Make Poverty History – a large, diverse group of development charities, environmental NGOs, churches, trade unions, student societies and many others – working together to campaign on issues around climate change. Continue reading

Learning to Love Charity Shop Shopping

charity shop books

When I was a kid, I hated charity shops. My Mum was brilliant in them – she had a real instinct for finding hidden treasures in the unlikeliest of places – and would always emerge victorious with a perfect pair of jeans or a cashmere cardi. She and a friend would take whole days to visit other towns nearby and trawl their shops for a change. But I didn’t to inherit her skill, and I wasn’t prepared to work at it. I’d get bored quickly, and could never be bothered rifling through the racks of musty smelling garments on the off chance that I might find something useful.

More recently, I’ve had a change of heart. I still don’t buy clothes in charity shops (mainly because, as you’ll have guessed from my post on fashion earlier in the week, I don’t really buy clothes at all…) but if I’m looking for books or toys, they are the first place I go.

Continue reading

Books and s*@t

I’m very excited to have a guest post from a blogger who I know to be just as much of a love in real life as she is onscreen. It’s Caroline – formerly Scribbling Mum – now Letters from Your Mum, writing about her vair vair exciting new adventure. 

Scribbling Mum bookshop

*clears throat*

‘Books! Books! Get your luverly children’s books here. Two for a tenner £11.98’

I’ve finally done it. What started as a chat with my best friend’s husband 18 months ago is now an actual thing, an actual brand, and an actual online children’s bookshop. It’s open. It’s real. We have bookmarks and everything.

Back then our working name was ‘Books and shit’ but I decided that might not work for everyone so – after many lists, polls and opinion surveys – The Green Door Bookshop was born. Please, no Shakin’ Stevens jokes. Continue reading