This week, I proudly told my huband that I’d read 25 books so far this year. Not a bad total, I thought, for a mum of 2 who’s trying to ‘run a household’.
However, my beloved rejoindered with, ‘Couldn’t you be using the time to do something more useful? Like housework?’
(A caveat: I adore my husband of 12 and a half years; he’s not a philistine and has very rarified taste in books himself. But he works long hours and would prefer to relax with the iPad or tv (usually both) rather than a book. Whereas whenever I get a spare moment, I’ll reach for a book not the remote.)
Well, which would you rather do: clean behind the kitchen bin or transport yourself into the medieval mind? Pair up socks or solve a murder mystery? Empty a bin or fill your head with words? It’s a question almost not worth asking….
The housework needs doing again in such a short space of time. The washing’s never ending; small children leave trails of crumbs and socks everywhere; bins overflow at an alarming rate; meals need to be thought of, shopped for, prepared and cleared away; and that’s just the things I admit to doing. I don’t iron and rarely do DIY. And thinking about what’s in dust…
I would much rather do enough to raise our living standards to acceptable and settle back into my chair to read about someone else’s life, loves, passions and thoughts.
And how often is housework mentioned in novels? What thrilling plot device can be found in cleaning the inside of the windows? Now, that’s an idea for a new cosy crime novel…