So life feels a bit hectic at the moment, and actually spending time sitting down to blog feels like a luxury. But I always knew going back to Oxford would be busy, and it’s nice not to have the pressure of needing to finish books now, especially since I’m still under half-wiy through The Programme. I’d been reading it in the gym a lot, but now that training has started again, I’ve been spending time at the Sports Centre and not the gym so progress has been slow. It’s okay so far. I’m not enthralled though – I have no desperation to pick it up and a lot of the time have been opting to continue my Gilmore Girls marathon instead. All of the characters feel quite superficial but I’m not sure how much of that is deliberate. I’m also not sure the story has really got going yet though, so I’m not giving up this soon. I’ll keep you posted.
I’ve spent a lot of the last week or so, beginning to look up DPhil’s for post-graduate study, which, by the way, is terrifying. It means I have to write a bunch of personal statements for various applications, which got me thinking. Here in the UK we have to write a personal statement in order to apply to university, and I remember my Oxford one from four years ago. in it I say that I fell in love with my subject due to a series of children’s books, and looking back, I realise how important books can be in inspiring us, or showing us avenues that we hadn’t previously thought of. The books I was then referring to were the Roman Myteries series by Caroline Lawrence. I read the lot, even though by the time the last ones came out I was basically already going off to university. If you haven’t read them, they’re about 4 kids who are detectives in Ancient Rome and get in to all sorts of trouble and it’s very overblown and it’s great. The thing I really loved though was how accurate it was. Not the characters or the plot, granted, but the world it was set in, which was not only extremely believable but, as a now Classicist, surprisingly similar to the real Ancient Rome. There was even a bibliography in the back. It first introduced me to the details of archaeology and of the classical world and I instantly fell in love. Even now, starting my Masters degree, and having renounced as much Roman stuff as I can in favour of Greek, I owe where I am to those books. They started my love for my subject and they still have pride of place on my bookshelves: all 18 of them.
It’s amazing how important books can be to us. In inspiring us, or making us want to travel (Daughter of Smoke and Bone made me desperate to go to Prague), or even make us want to act or be a certain way, almost encouraging us to be a better version of ourselves, if you will. Whilst many of us, myself included, read for escapism, we shouldn’t forget the huge impact that books can have off of the page as well.
Do you have any books that have influenced you, even just a little bit? Or is there a book that is more important to you than any other because of what it means to you in the real world? Let me know, while I go and plow my way through this packet of chocolate malted milks…
~ Becca x