Visit a library and the fun begins just looking and choosing. Perhaps peruse the periodicals or pick up leaflets of good intentions – winter courses to join. And so to the books. When at Uni, the length and depth of our reading lists were rightfully scary. I always chose one ‘treat’ book per pile and a coffee table picture book to inspire. ‘Dress and Ethnicity’ I remember well, a random choice; such costumes, such culture, such style. So how about gardening? Just to cultivate ideas? Delicious recipes; culinary, cooking, curry anyone?
Are you an ‘Our Norfolk’ resident? Join a library on your next rainy day and rent DVDs, CDs or borrow any book county-wide, they’ll alert you by phone, post or email. Visiting? Ask to become part of the ‘Adult Lite’ service and borrow whilst you stay. Second-hand browsing more your thing? Georgian Holt has many including the enigmatic Richard Scott Antiques (see his Rainy Day article). A couple of years ago he had (and may still have) a Georgian book press, used to compress uncut books so you could ‘slice’ each page free as you read. Then there’s St Giles Norwich, Blickling Hall and Book Fairs at Blakeney. Those interested in history, including Norfolk history should seek out specialists Mick and Eleanor Finn at Jackdaw Books based in Holt.
Something truly magical? Head to ‘The Children’s Book Centre’ at Alby (near Aylsham) a bookshop built in a garden. The obligatory ritual of visiting authors signing the walls will hold your attention as you enter. How many thousand books? Thirty? Fifty? Run by Marylin, an ex children’s librarian, her stock comprises old favourites, new releases and course material for teachers. Complimentary beverages and free wifi whilst you browse. Many initiatives can be found on her website including schools library support, teacher training, story and author visits to schools and a book saving scheme. On our visit, Tintin was a possibility, Paddington a must.
We have since acquired a Tintin poster.