Some of you may know I have been a contributor to a fantastic magazine a number of times in the past called Pretty Nostalgic, an independent publication celebrating all things vintage, handmade and brilliantly British. Their latest venture is the Vintage Book Club, and when they asked me whether I'd be interested in starting one well... let's just say I broke my promise to myself that I wasn't going to take anything else on without a moment's thought!
Thanks go to Amy Farry for helping me sort a fab venue in Sheffield on a pretty tight deadline, and between us we recruited the book club's first members, meeting at The Old House bar, to talk about our first vintage read. The theme of this meeting was Children's Adventure Classics, and the title, The Wind in the Willows.
I chose this book because although I knew the story well, I had never actually read it. Also, I loved the idea of the book starting in Spring and going full circle through the seasons, and as we've been waiting for our own warmer weather to arrive for so long it seemed to be a good fit!
So I dug out my grand grandfather's copy of the book from the 1920s, together with my more recent edition, and got stuck into this tale of friendship, adventure and British nature. And oh, how I loved getting lost in this story! It quickly became apparent during our meeting that we had all enjoyed it, and we had a good giggle imagining Mr. Toad as a sort of Russell Brand character!
The Old House were the perfect host for our little gathering. Good food, a cosy and friendly atmosphere and one (very Mr. Toad) flaming cocktail on the part of one of our members and we were happy bookworms!
I have wanted to join a book club for such a long time, and I think the vintage element makes for a interesting twist. As it turns out, Amy and I are both BA Hons. English graduates of the same university, so I think we both enjoyed the chance to chat about old books with new friends... without a tutor demanding deeper and more insightful interpretations of our chosen text...
Mind you, all of us did come up with some thought-provoking theories on the true meaning of The Wind in the Willows and the relationships between its much-loved characters. I really enjoyed getting stuck into a good conversation about this tale.
I'm looking forward to the next meeting already, and will keep you posted on our group's bookish journey right here. And if you're ever in Sheffield, do pay The Old House a visit. You can read all about the other Pretty Nostalgic Book Club's meetings up and down the country in the magazine itself and on their blog soon.
I'd love to know whether you have read The Wind in the Willows and if so, what you thought of it. And how about Kenneth Grahame's lesser known classic, The Reluctant Dragon? It's one of my all-time favourites!