Autumns Here… And I Don’t Mind A Bit

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…

Autumn arrived at my window this morning…

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!


Filed under Random Savidgeness

22 responses to “Autumns Here… And I Don’t Mind A Bit

  1. Your right it’s good reading weather. I am currently reading by the fire. However, my unheated study is unusable. Thank goodness for wifi.

    • I want an open fire here. We would have to get rid of radiators and all sorts to have one in the lounge, but I think there is one hiding in the bedroom which we are about to do up, so who knows my dream could come true.

  2. I was just thinking the opposite to you this morning. However, the thought that the season calls for some dark and shadowy reading makes up for it, I suppose:)

  3. I have mixed feelings about autumn. Of course it’s wonderful aesthetically, but I am very sensitive to cold weather, and I absolutely cannot function when I’m cold: I can’t read, write, work – I’m useless!! But reading by firelight alone is something special, yes. 🙂

    • Oh I weirdly like being cold, being hot is when I just get sluggish and a little bolshy and bothered. That said I do like a roaring open fire, as long as the heating isn’t on too.

  4. When I was younger I was very much an autumn/winter fan and loathed hot summers. Now in my forties I do rather appreciate a bit of sun – although not too much, I love to sit in a deck chair by the sea with my book at least a couple of times. But autumn has always been a season I like best – even though I generally don’t like being too cold. I like walking to work on those darker mornings as long as it’s reasonably dry. I love the smell of bonfires, and secretly love fireworks – though I didn’t particularly as a child. I like wearing nice jumpers and boots to work and stuffing my slow cooker full of hearty stews to come home to. I also love the poppys around rememberence sunday and hearing the last post and all that. At the end of November here in Birmingham the German market comes back to the city centre and I start to feel all wintery.

    • I cannot read if I am too hot. I discovered this when I was in Florence and it was sooooooo much hotter than I had expected. I struggled a little bit and so just sat people watching. This could though have just been a sign that I needed to stop reading and have a reading holiday of sorts.

  5. Annabel (gaskella)

    I love autumn, always will. I love it being cool, but not too cold. I can put up with the changeable weather as long as it doesn’t rain on our school fireworks night when I’ll be outside organising most of the day! I usually wear strong autumn colours too (pastels don’t suit). It’s a great time for productive reading too (but also some great telly!). However, I’m boilerless at the moment, so the portable rad has come out and furry throws brought downstairs.

  6. Jo

    I am rather mixed bag, when it comes to the weather. Bright and sunny is good for the depression, so I have to be careful in more darker days. I am one of the go to work and come home in the dark brigade. However I am a fan of rain lashing at the window whilst I am tucked up in bed or on the settee reading whatever takes my fancy. I do steer more towards Christmas type books December time but I think that is the only part of my reading which is seasonal. I am more of a mood reader I think. My mood and emotions dictate my choice of reading.

    • Ahhhh I had forgotten about SAD and it is nice to have sunny autumnal days, in fact I like those the most when its clear and bright and then you have a deliciously dark evening. The best!

  7. Hi Simon
    Firstly I just want to say how much I am enjoying your podcasts and have devoured many episodes over the past few weeks after finding you via Reading Matters. I too love Autumn and always a welcome respite from our sweltering Aussie summers. Tucked up in bed in winter or outside on my verandah with a blanket or not I never lose my passion for reading and just make the most of any spare moment to read a book. Just listened to the podcast episode featuring your mum and Madeline Miller and you have just added another to my Mount TBR!

    • Oh that interestingly makes a great summer or autumnal book as it is a book you want to get lost in, though will brighten your darkened evenings. It would also be great on a beach.

  8. I am definitely only a seasonal reader in the fall for some reason. I guess that either means that those are my favorite types of books and I’ll take any excuse to read a long string of them or that it is, in fact, my favorite season (or both, I suppose!). Saturday was our wet and gloomy kickoff to a Seattle fall and now we’ve settled in to 18-20 degree days. Perfectly pleasant and I wish it would stay this way!

  9. Lisa

    My thoughts on weather are so like yours, Simon. I loathe heat and humidity and living in Chicago we often have lots of both in summer. Then there’s winter… We had a break last year, experiencing a very mild season but such wasn’t the case the two or three years before. We have snow in copious amounts some years and I find that a misery. Not to mention the cold. But I do, like you, enjoy spring and fall. Truth be told I’m lucky if I’m happy with the weather four or five days a year!

    Am I a seasonal reader? Well, in fall I’m usually in the mood for early to mid-20th century reading, especially British and by women. That’s when I break out my Viragos, not sure why. Otherwise, my reading’s the same year round.


    • I don’t like the snow either it has to be said. I don’t mind a day or so of deep snow for the fun of it, and then I get very, very bored and frustrated with it. I think that is why Autumn and Spring suit me so well, a nice middle ground.

  10. I like all the seasons, though not all the weather in all the seasons. I don’t have a favourite reading season (nor a season for autumnal music for example either) but no I don’t think you are “bonkers”. Hope you have dried out your poor cat!

    • Annoyingly Oscar quite likes the rain, I had hoped that it might signal the end of walking him outside when the rain came in, however it hasn’t been the case – then he wants damp cuddles, ugh!

  11. My favourite season is winter for basically everything but it is particularly conducive to guilt-free curling up with a book.

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