As the year begins, I am treating myself to a daily indulgence. Yes, chocolate is involved, but there is more. I read.
I have always been a reader, but this book is special. It was given to me as a gift and has been the perfect way to end my day and send me to slumber with positive thoughts.
The Bedside Companion for Gardeners, an anthology of garden writing for every night of the year, edited by Jane McMorland Hunter, is just that – a reading for every night.
What I love about this book is that although it is a reading every day, there is no scorecard, no quiz, no to-do list, and no need to have read one page or date before another. If life gets busy and I miss a week so what? I can catch up or pick up when I’m ready.
This is not a how–to book. I have plenty of those. This is a moment of escape after a busy day. In the first two weeks of the year I have read Charles Dickens, The King James Bible, Jane Austin, Edith Wharton, and Thomas Hardy.
Let’s be clear; this is not highbrow reading. That’s not my style. I love People Magazine, the daily comics, and a good mystery book. But this moment that I take for myself is quite lovely.
Each day’s reading is generally half a page long, just enough to soothe my busy mind. The author has combed through literature of all types and from all ages to create this collection of readings.
Half a page is enough for me, but the author does give the title, author, and date of the original work, should you want to read more.
Speaking of more, if quick garden reads are your thing, here are a few others. Garden Blessings, Poems, Prose and Prayers Celebrating the Love of Gardening by June Cotner is a small book filled with easy reads. I found this one in my Little Free Library and quickly claimed it as mine – at least for now. I will enjoy this book and pass it along to others, just as it was passed to me.
I have mentioned this book before, but it is worth a second nod, The Garden’s Bed-Book, Short and Long Pieces to be read in Bed by Those Who Love Green Growing Things, by Richardson Wright.
Wright was editor-in-chief of House & Garden for over three decades. Although first published in 1929, this book is clever and entertaining for today’s reader. It is one of my favorites. Prose mixed with a nugget of advice – it is hard to resist.
Three books offer three different ways to be in the garden while staying cozy inside. Each is a pleasant way to wind down the day and a way to relax after an intense Wordle puzzle. I have them scattered around the house and even in the guest room. Of course, one is on my nightstand. Which one, well, that changes. The three rotate between my favorite chair, my desk, and my bedside.
I love this thought written by Mirabel Olser in her book A Gentle Plea for Chaos – One doesn’t need to garden to garden. Let a story take you to the garden, and I wish you peace and joy along the way.
Happy New Year.