Thursday, 19 April 2012

World Book Night and I Capture the Castle

It all started way back when, my love of books, an escape from the real world.

So went the invitation came out in 2011 to be a part of the 2012 World Book Night I hesitated, but only for a second. The hesitation was only because I didn't know which one to choose. First I shortlisted my titles from the selected list. Then I devised my application and revised it , pressed send and waited.  Liked my words and I am now part of their celebration of books and reading along with 20,000 like minded people who want to share the words of 25 titles with anyone who wants to accept the gifts of free books.

Today I have picked up my books, the car parking angel was with me and I could park right outside the library an important factor when collecting twenty four books. As I waited among the mummies and pushchairs with books for their children, I was pleased that I had chosen a title that could be considered a children's book or rather a coming of age title. 'Which book have you chosen?' a librarian asked me 'I Capture the Castle' by Dodie Smith. This was met with a chorus of 'Oh, I love that Book!' two other librarians joined in. We opened the box and I fell in love with my choice all over again. The cover is glorious.

My library apparently has the largest number of World Book Night distributors for libraries in the county and I know Waterstones also has a number for my town. Lucky town, lucky people. I am living in town of book lovers who trawl the Internet to join in and share their solitary passion of quiet reading.

'I Capture the Castle' starts with the most evocative opening:

'I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.That is, my feet are in it;the rest of me is on the draining-board,which I have padded with our dog's blanket and the tea-cosy. I can't say that I am really comfortable, and there is a depressing smell of carbolic soap, but this is the only part of the kitchen where there is any daylight left. And I have found that sitting in a place where you have never sat before can be inspiring - I wrote my very best poem while sitting on the hen-house.Though even that isn't a very good poem. I have decided my poetry is so bad that I mustn't write any more of it.'

For me, this sums up how it feels to be a young woman. Experimental, creative, open to day dreaming. But also self-critical with high expectations of oneself. Life is a journey of self-discovery and the reader follows Cassandra and her eccentric family and the relationships that develop .


                   So rather than a kitchen sink, here is my bathroom sink and my bath.


This is where I sometimes do my reading and writing. For as long as the glasses do not steam up.
But I can also daydream words and sentences. That is the thing about writing , you can really do it anywhere.

So now I must fill in the book plates with each books identifying  number and send them on their journey.
Like a message in a bottle, they are waiting to be distributed , so if you see a mad looking woman with a wicker basket, she may just be wanting to share Dodie Smith's daydream of a novel and pass on a little escapism.  I hope that their new readers will enjoy this book as much as I have.



  1. Oh I haven't read it - now it will have to go on my wish list many books to read!

  2. A lovely post. I didn't read I Capture the Castle until a year or so ago. I had such high expectations, and really wanted to love it, but something didn't quite click no matter my intentions otherwise. I do want to give this book another try as I know how loved it is by others. I adore the cover art for this!

  3. I'm giving the same book at this year's WBN! It's one of my absolute favourites and when I saw it on the list, I knew it was the one.