In the UK we are infamous for talking about the weather. If a conversation goes astray, too quiet or rather awkward then (apparently) we always pull out that old favourite “well, what do you think to the weather we have been having?” It always makes me laugh that when it is raining you hear, as I do every time I go to the local post office, that we have simply not had enough of a summer and when the sun is beaming it is simply too hot. We can’t be pleased. This year we have had odd weather, well we have in the last few, with a decent spring, a cloudy summer (with some showers) than a random few weeks of glorious late Indian summer weather. This morning I opened the curtains and it appeared that autumn had definitely arrived, and I was thrilled…
I simply can’t deny it, I absolutely adore autumn! Why not the other seasons so much… well, I am not someone who loves heat, so really I was born in the perfect country – and indeed the perfect part of it (the north), in fact if it gets too sunny in the summer you will find me indoors more often than not, or sat looking grumpy and flustered/flushed under the shadiest spot. If I go away on holiday and it is ‘hot, hot, hot’ I tend to just stop. I can’t read, I can’t concentrate and I get restless. I was a nightmare on a day by the pool in a thirty-eight degree Florence earlier in the year. Winter is fine, though a little bleak and barren with the ‘naked trees’ and haphazard ice. Spring I like because it is fresh and feels new, there are flower buds and baby lambs here there and everywhere but autumn is the season where my heart lies.
It isn’t just the misty mornings, the gorgeous autumnal leaves and the nights where rain batters at the windows, though I love all of that. It is the fact that the mornings and the evenings are a little darker (and as one who works in my own house but used to commute I know that it is truly dreadful when you leave home in the dark and arrive back… in the dark) which not only has a lovely sense of ‘otherness’, Halloween is around the corner of course, but also most importantly it is my favourite reading time of year.
I don’t read totally seasonally, though I will never read a Christmas book when it’s not Christmas, madness lies therein I think. But autumn is when the books I love to read most come alive. I like books with a dark atmosphere, so what is better than reading them curled up on a sofa/reading chair surrounded by warmth while the world outside is dark and brooding? It is the time of the year when all my favourite crime series come to hand, Victorian fiction is pulled from the shelves and bigger thicker books match my bigger thicker jumpers (by Christmas I am reading doorstop sized tomes) and the TBR finds itself in a more sensational mood. You could call it the sensational season for me I guess; I have one at the ready which looks set to be a corker.
So if autumn arrived this morning and left you feeling gloomy don’t fret, think of all the wonderful reading time ahead, even if you don’t read the darker books. Embrace it I say, well apart from if you are just about to go and walk your cat in a downpour as I am – I don’t think Oscar is going to be a fan.
Are you a fan of autumn too, do you find it your favourite reading season? What autumnal books would you recommend? Are you a seasonal reader at all? Do you think I am bonkers? All thoughts welcome as always!