Non Fiction

Bookworm: A Memoir of Childhood Reading by Lucy Mangan

This is a thoroughly enjoyable book but it is also a very subjective one. If you are not a bookworm and do not have the appreciation for bookworms and their ilk this may not be your thing. Also, having heard of or read eighty percent of the mentioned books, I enjoyed those sections more than the ones I had not heard of before.All said and  done, I will still be giving this five stars because of the level of excitement when I saw something familiar and something that took me back a long way.

The author begins with her life and the life’s purpose of devouring books. She rightfully points out that it is never a choice, it is just something we do(notice the all-inclusive we). I paused so often at sections that resonated and it took me a long time to jump across the recollections to get back to the book (overall I took a surprisingly long time to finish).The initial ‘introduction’ she gives to the rest of the book is so amusingly written that I am considering putting more of the author’s books on my to-read list.She mentions in detail how some of the books made a lasting impact and how she carries it with her. The colourful and strange world of fiction have hidden depths, some of the more morose of those depths are later realized during adulthood.The reactions of the people around her to her chosen lifestyle are icing on the cake.

The last few years, with more time and unlimited resources to choose from I have been reading like never before but this book made me go back to when it all began and I delighted with the memories it threw up in front of me. I may not share the style of reading that the author possesses but the feeling of kinship that this entire book triggers is worth every minute spent with it. It comes with a complete list at the end if we want to add to our collections as well.There is so much more I can talk about the book but that would not really qualify as a review, it would be part of a book club discussion!

NetGalley Link


GoodReads Link

Words I have not noticed in use before:

  • orthographical: the art of writing words with the proper letters, according to accepted usage; correct spelling
  • zeugma: a figure of speech in which a word applies to two others in different senses
  • psittacine: relating to or denoting birds of the parrot family
  • adumbrate: represent in outline,indicate faintly;foreshadow
  • numismatic: relating to or consisting of coins or medals.
  • ineluctable: inescapable


At this point the book review has ended.I’m going off on a personal tangent that reading this book has triggered. I cannot list inclusively all the books that changed my life but I can express my gratitude in having been able to pursue a life filled with them.

The author of the book portrays her life as a solitary one when on this journey through fiction, I on the other hand have only ever had social interactions thanks to this.It involves all those people who facilitated the habit by providing the required nourishment. My father who hunted down the people he knew who read to give me good enough suggestions/advice, my mother who (mostly) let me read anywhere including the dinner table and tell me of others who enjoyed it as I did.My grandparents,aunts and uncles who never chastised but marvelled(and told tales when able to further push me along) at the impulse to curl up with my latest collection apart from contributing to adding to them.A sister who was a willing guinea pig to listen to books I needed to read aloud to complete.Friends,cousins some of whom I share this secret life with. A husband who joins all the others in cheering the progress.Especially now that I have peeked into the author’s life I have realised,that I am more than lucky to have the life I do.

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