While I appreciate that as a writer I should embrace any medium that encourages people to read, (and I do embrace them because I would love people to read my stories no matter how they prefer to read them), I just love books and I think I always will.
As usual my Christmas list suggests a number of books, and hopefully some lovely person will buy me at least a couple of them. When I take off the gift-wrap on Christmas Day knowing that my wishes have been granted, I have to tear myself away, knowing that as usual I'm on Christmas lunch duty. My lovely books go on the pile of presents in the living-room, tempting me to open the covers and marvel at how clean and unmarked the title pages are. (Unfortunately they don't stay like that for long, but only because they're well loved - I read my books at least twice, most of them more.) The Writer's and Artist's Yearbook is a must. God, how I love that book: the rich colour of the cover; the title that promises so much inside. I can't wait to get into it. I'm obsessed I'm afraid!
Every year my books go on coffee-table duty; a kind of rota - my older books go to the glass-cupboard on the landing - my new books are shown off on my coffee-table for all to see - because I'm a book snob. My snobbery also does double-duty because when people visit they actually look at the books (they can't really miss them, the pile is a bit high) and it's often an ice-breaker, beginning conversations about books they've read and those they recommend.
The other thing that got me thinking about 'real' books was an old recipe book my great-grandmother, Esther passed down to my nanna, Lilian, then to my mum, Irene, then to me. I love it because it's so of the time; we would probably never cook the way they did then or use the same ingredients, but the thought that generations of women in my family have touched that book; have used the recipes between the old, tattered covers in their own kitchens thrills me to bits. Will we do that with e-books I wonder? I love my old cookery book, and below is a recipe for you to try. Enjoy!