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Lazy summers reading outdoors

Do you ever feel the need to sit and do nothing? Or almost nothing.

Learning to switch off and slow down can be quite a skill to master in today's world of 24-7 round-the-clock connectivity.  I find that removing distractions helps and taking myself away from the household chores.  In the summertime I dream of escaping to a place outdoors with nothing other than a book to read and perhaps a blanket to sit on.  A chance to unwind and let my mind drift in to the stories on the pages.

Reading outdoorsWhat's your favourite book? If you'd asked me this question at primary school I would probably have answered 'The Folk of the Faraway Tree' by Enid Blyton. It set my imagination on fire! I used to love the characters Saucepan Man and Moonface, and it was one of a few books on the shelf that I read more than once.

Today, I love a story that educates about real life situations, or set in an age or context that is real, even if the characters are fictitious.  One of the most powerful books I have read in recent years is 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' by Khaled Hosseini.  It's a story that is set in Afghanistan and is a moving insight in to the country, depicting the lives of two Afghani women who are thrown together under unusual circumstances.

I love a book that is a real 'page turner' - one that you just can't put down.  I was reminded of this recently when watching the story of 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time' (by Mark Haddon) at the theatre in Bradford. Not only was it a brilliant production, but it brought the story of its main character, Christopher, to life and illuminated for me the book I had so enjoyed reading some years earlier.  It took me back to that particularly relaxing holiday, taking me in to a daydream for a few moments. Just the thought of it made me feel more relaxed.

Everyone has their own personal taste when it comes to reading and what they enjoy. But I always enjoy recommendations from friends about things they've enjoyed, and there's an enjoyment in a book shared and a story told.

Happy reading this summer, and I hope that you find some great books to enjoy and suit you. Perhaps even that you'll look back on in years to come as a reminder of Summer 2015.