Posted in writing

Reading is…

From the time I could read one of my favourite activities was to hide out in the big hall closet sitting on the butter box and devour books. I would close the sliding door most of way and my world would disappear and suddenly I felt like a Bobbsey Twin on the way to the seaside for an adventure. The books changed over the years and eventually I outgrew that closet. I then created a reading nook in my own closet and could be found after lights out reading by flashlight. I pretty much read anything I could get my hands on that wasn’t a school book.

But then I started nursing school and life was all about text books, which ironically I fell asleep reading all the time. I only let myself read fictional books on breaks at home because I knew, even then, how compulsive I was to finish them to the determent of all else. Fast forward to life with children and the only time I read and  stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to finish a book was when I was at my parent’s house or on a ski trip. I’d give in occasionally, over the years, and pick up a book, always with the same results of being so over tired at work the next day. My husband learnt early on not to leave the bedroom lamp on if I said I was just going to stay up to finish the chapter. We both knew that was “code” for I’m going to consume every word written in the book.

So when Donna * over @ retirementreflections and Deb @ the (Oops wrong Deb) plus Sue at and Jo over @ created a #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge I was like cool, a legit reason to read! It’s been going on for a few months now and it definitely did inspire me to read more. I am finally getting around to doing a blog post about one of my favourite pleasures; the written word.

I spent the summer reading a lot of Indigenous based books. “Where the Dead Sit Talking”, “From the Ashes”, “White Fragility”, 21 Things You Never Knew About the Indian Act (isn’t that truth – this was a huge eye opener) and “Up Ghost River”. These were all timely reads but definitely not easy reads. Each one made me stop and think which is exactly what I need to do. I will continue to add these types of books (not really a genre as some are fictional and some aren’t) into my reading rotation and make jot notes when someone tells me about a powerful Indigenous story that they recommend.

In between those I also read Pale Rider, The Matchmaker’s List, Greenlights, Secrets of a Charmed Life, The Flight Girls, A Bridge across the Ocean, Songs for the End of the World, Say Anything, The Gown and about 50+ Berernstain Bear books and 50+ other assorted children’s books. As an aside I don’t usually read this much but I’ve been struggling with a back/leg issue and icing my back has become an integral part of my day so I read. It’s called making the best of the situation.

The book I just finished, The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin, had the following passage which spoke to me and gave me the direction I wanted my post to go.

….”Reading is…”His brows knit together and then his forehead soothed out as the right words appeared to dawn on him. “It’s going somewhere without ever taking a train or a ship, an unveiling of new, incredible worlds. It’s living a life you weren’t born into an da chance to see everything colored by someone else’s perspective. It’s learning without having to face consequences for failures, and how best to succeed.” He hesitated. “I think within all of us, there is a void, a gap waiting to be filled by something. For me, that something is books and all their proffered experiences.”…

What the written word does for me..

My favourite genre is definitely historical fiction and this one, as did 3 of the titles above, centers around the World Wars. I find it a fascinating period as so much of society was in flux and technology was really changing life. I am happy to go farther back in time as well but I draw the line at moving forward into sci fi worlds. Now having said that I devoured, like the rest of my family, the Harry Potter series. Perhaps because it seems like a side world to ours – one we just can’t see. The same thing with the Outlander series – our world with an interesting twist.

So while this isn’t a typical #what’sonyourbookshelf post as I didn’t really review any books I did definitely talk about what’s on my laptop. I also occasionally stop at the free library boxes in Saskatoon and grab one or two real books for times, like at the beach, where you just can’t use a device.** I can’t remember the exact title of the last one I picked up from there but that’s ok as it was dark and disturbing and yes, I stayed up way too late to finish it!

So, in an untimely fashion, as once again I missed the third Thursday of the month I am finally going to hit post.


*It would seem my reading skills need to improve as I linked to the wrong Deb and then, of course, struggled to pull in the other links but I eventually got it sorted out. I will in future just re use that paragraph! As I read their there posts it gave me even more books to seek out. I’ve never been one to have a reading list but it seems in retirement maybe I can just make that a thing!

** I found out this summer that reading on the Libby app is great in small doses. Too much time reading anything on my phone in the vehicle sets me up for neck/thoracic pain. Ah yes everything in moderation even reading!

PS many years and hundreds of posts later I still struggle with links but think I’ve gotten them correctly. I did not use the lovely logo that goes with #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge because, alas, I could not seem to save it in the right format to use it. Maybe next month??


I have had a love of the written word for my entire life. It's no surprise that eventually I found a platform where I could write. It's random; sometimes funny, occasionally sad, maybe even at times from anger and I lean towards creative photography and hands on crafts. I have a few blogs that high light these interests.

18 thoughts on “Reading is…

  1. I laughed when I saw the ‘oops wrong Deb’ in your post BernieLynne :). This was a great post for our WOYBS challenge, thanks so much for sharing your reading with us. I too like historical fiction and can get lost in those past eras very easily. I loved the Outlander series too. Hope you’re back to feeling well again after your leg issue. Wishing you well and look forward to seeing you later this month!


    1. I thought the other Deb (Widow Badass) might have made a sassy comment about it but it slipped under the radar. I didn’t realize so many of you were hosting it and man that was a work out getting all the right links in my post! Linking is still my nemesis on WP. Ah … the Outlander series. Will she just hurry up and finish the next book and not keep us in suspense! Have you seen the series? It’s ok but not near as good as the books. Thanks for dropping in and yes I am still reading and hope to contribute again. Take care. Enjoy your spring weather. Bernie

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Reading speaks to my heart so it’s a subject that I found so easy to write about. Glad to participate and am just finishing a couple more books for the next round. Bernie

        Liked by 1 person

      1. It was an incredibly eye opening book wasn’t it. Things that I sure the heck did not know. I find with some of them I need to interspace with a light read as they are very heavy. I often wonder how the authors survived the world they ended up in and it’s easy to see how their lives often ended up as a train wreck. But as a Canadian it is so important that we read these books so I am glad you and I have stepped up to the plate. Thanks for stopping in to read and comment. Take care. Bernie


    1. Pam, I feel like you are such a prolific reader that you could contribute to this challenge I am doing. It’s always good to have suggestions on what to read. I am often paralyzed with the choices in the actual library. As to the book we just both enjoyed — I really enjoyed it. The characters and the plot line were both good. I tried to find some of her other books through our on line library but no luck. Maybe someday when I can venture to the library again. Take care and enjoy that reading corner of yours. Bernie

      Liked by 1 person

      1. BernieLynne, I’d love to contribute! And you know I love to talk books…I’m reading a memoir now that I’m really enjoying…Beautiful Land by Qian Julie Wang…the story of a young girl who emigrates to the US from China. Along the lines of Last Bookshop in London, have you read the Paris Library? And I liked The Kitchen Front, too, about women in England during WWII…and coping with rationing…


  2. Hi, Bernie – This is an absolutely fabulous ‘What’s On Your Bookshelf’ post. You totally rocked it! I love that you have been reading your way through several Indigenous books (amongst others). I just finished Canadian Classic, ‘In Search of April Raintree.’ Part autobiographical and part fiction, it was a real eye-opener, especially since it was written in the 1980s.
    WOYBS is cohost by Jo (And Anyways), Deb (Deb’s World), Sue (Women Living Well After 50) and me. We would love to have you join us again for our next posting, which goes live October 21, but can be linked to at absolutely anytime. And no need to use actual links or logos. But if you would like any help with doing this, I’d be more than happy to help you offline. Just give me a shout!
    I have just added your link to this post to our September Bookshelf Post! 😀


    1. A. Thanks for liking the direction my post went. B. I just put a library hold on In Search of April Raintree. C. Oops wrong Deb as a cohost. Bad Ass Deb will be like whoa she’s (Bernie) has lost it but then she will laugh and read the post. D. Might take you up on that help as I still have your email address. E. Should I work on linking though to the correct people. F. It’s interesting to note that I have a few “likes” from readers I have never seen before – is it the hashtag or one of those weird random WP “you might like this blog post”. Anyway thanks again for hosting and encouraging me to put my written word out there. Take care and stay safe. Bernie


  3. That was an interesting post, and it’s great to meet fellow book lovers here on WordPress. I love the fact that you enjoy historical fiction (I myself haven’t explored that genre much), and I like learning new things like this. Thanks for this post!


    1. Thanks Stuart. It’s a great blog challenge and an easy way to get book recommendations from fellow bloggers. What sort of books do you usually read? Thanks for stopping by and engaging here with my writings. Bernie


      1. I typically read sci-fi/fantasy, but I do the occasional ‘literary’ run like Ann Patchett’s Dutch House or Raymond Carver’s short stories.

        Always fall back to F/S though, lol.


      2. Two of my favourite historical fiction authors are Herman Wouk and Ian Rutherford. Hope you give this a try. I have read a few sci’fi and always end up back here!


  4. What a lovely post, Bernie 🙂 There are so many benefits to reading books. But let’s face it: It can be challenging to motivate ourselves to read a 382-page book when we can watch the movie, listen to the audiobook, or watch a YouTube video summary instead.

    I pretty much read anything I could get my hands on that wasn’t a school book, too and haven’t stopped ever since. Reading is good for you because it improves your focus, memory, empathy, and communication skills. It can reduce stress, improve your mental health, and help you live longer. Thanks for sharing and have a nice day 🙂 Aiva xx


    1. Aiva. I find it interesting that I always extol the virtues of exercise but have to “steal” time to read and you have just reminded me why it is so important so thanks! Now I can feel less like a sloth when I am reading and focus on improving all those items above – which are so critical as we age. So THANKS! Do you have a genre you enjoy most or a specific author? Thanks so much for this thoughtful comment. Bernie


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