10 June 2010

A picture paints a thousand words...

Back on May 30th, Simon at Stuck In A Book tagged me to choose a picture that sums up my taste in reading. With moving and travelling and everything else going on right now it has taken me much longer than I would have thought to complete this assignment.

The biggest challenge is that the picture was NOT to include images of books or a character from an adaptation. That made it hard. I was all set to find some picture of a cosy library or a beautiful still from the Merchant-Ivory adaptations of  A Room With a View, Howard's End, or Maurice. But that would have been cheating.

And then I was thinking that Simon's picture was apt for me as well. But to copy him would have been the ultimate cop out.

I still had the whole notion of tea and England on my brain, which indeed does sum up a lot of of what I like.

And my recent read of Widow Barnaby by Fanny Trollope reminded me how much I like domestic and housekeeping details in novels. (Although Widow Barnaby doesn't really go into "downstairs" details.)

Or anything to do with academia or the Church of England...

And all of that reminded me of how much I love a good old fashioned pastoral landscape, whether it is in England...

or the U.S. (this lovely Grant Wood painting sums up much about my taste in U.S. fiction)...

or Italy...

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that any picture that could sum up my reading tastes would have to be old, cosy, and as much as I love the pastoral, it would have to be urban. And not being able to narrow it down, I did manage to limit myself to only three. And in my book, rain seems to equal cosy--maybe it is the thought of being inside reading. For some reason reading doesn't remind me of sunny days and blue skies. No doubt this is a subject for my therapist. So these then, best sum up my reading interests:


New York

And to a lesser extent, Paris



  1. It has been pouring in Paris today, and I have been reading for most of the day so your post really made me smile...

  2. Great post, and lovely pictures. I agree: nothing is better than reading on a rainy day. Add a cup of tea and I couldn't be happier!

  3. Wonderful pictures! I think of you as a reading power twin.

  4. I really enjoyed this post with the lovely photos accompanying your tastes.

  5. A fascinating post and one which I'd largely agree with. I particularly like novels that feature characters who work in a city, but live discontented lives in the suburbs.

  6. Love your post and the pictures! I would have to agree that reading on a rainy day is perfect! And I enjoy books set in England as well. Hmmm. Seems like we some reading commonalities, Thomas :)

  7. What a challenge! I think you made some excellent picks.

  8. Lovely choices Thomas. I think many of them sum up my reading tastes too. I agree too...rainy day reading is the best!

  9. Love all the pics, but I would've crawled into that tea picture! You are so right about the rain. We had a real soaker here yesterday and everyone in the house was curled up with a book for the day. It's my favorite kind of day. :)

  10. Hahaha, lovely choices, and so many ;-)

  11. Hannah: Sounds like a lovely day to me.

    Biblioatrist: I like the stuff that goes with tea (scones with clotted cream and jam) more than I like the tea itself.

    Amanda: I agree, but you tackle the chunksters more than I do.

    A Bookish Space: Thanks. It was difficult but fun.

    Steerforth: Not an uncommon theme (or reality for the that matter).

    Nadia: Well it isn't an accident I have sought out like-minded bloggers.

    Lorin: It really would have been a challenge if I had actually limited myself to one image.

    Mrs B: One of the reasons I had problems the two years I lived in Hawaii. Although there would be rain, it never laster long and the sun ususally stayed shining the whole time. I used to dream of overcast days.

    Susan: It is nice that your whole family are readers. Not having kids of my own I have tried to pass on my reading gene to my nieces and nephews, but I don't think it worked.

    Simon: I know, I may have entertained myself and a few others but I took many liberties with the rules.

  12. Those are wonderful pictures (although I did like the Grant Wood one you showed, mostly because I'm Iowan). I think I connect rain and reading with coziness as well. Great post!

  13. Love the pictures, the London one especially is making me want to go and find a suitable book to match with it.

  14. Brilliant! Love the walk through your head.

  15. Isn't that cheating hahahaha!?! Great pictures!

  16. cool! love the photos! :)

  17. Ash: Thanks for stopping by. I hail from Minnesota originally. Let's hear for the Midwest! I have a copy of a limited edition of Sinclair Lewis' Main Street that has Grant Wood illustrations and is signed by Wood. Not only one of my most treasured possessions, but it combines one of Minnesota's greatest sons and one of Iowa's greatest.

    Desparate Reader: It really does take just a picture of rainy London to induce reading mania doesn't it?

    Frances: Well one slice of my mind. And even then I couldn't pare it down to only one picture.

    Simon: I know I cheated big time. But I had fun.

    BkClubCare: Thanks. I guess it is the adult equivalent of making a collage in kindergarten.

  18. Your post has finally given me the inspiration for my own picture! I've thought and thought and couldn't come up with anything. Now I know what to look for.

    And I enjoyed reading/seeing your ideas here.

    BTW, I hope it all works out with your new house. As a recent homeowner, less than six years, I know the feeling(s).


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