What are you reading?

One of the fab things for me during my first year of catsitting is that I started to read again after a break of quite a few years. I had always been an avid reader since childhood but for one reason or another had stopped this glorious pastime.

I only started reading again last November. Since then, I have read Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror and the Light and I re-read Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies (currently halfway through). Btw I also recommend the BBC series of Wolf Hall, starring Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell.

I have (late in life - but better late than never) discovered PG Wodehouse. I have just read two of his books and I have not laughed so much while reading for ages. The ones I read were:

  • Blandings Castle and Elsewhere
  • Aunts Aren’t Gentlemen

I will now attempt to read everything Wodehosue ever wrote cos he is so brilliant!

I finally got round to reading A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin (ie Book 1 of the series). Over the years, I saw the complete TV series which I enjoyed for the most part, and will now read all of the (seven) books.

I also want to read Phillip Pullman’s Dark Materials trilogy, as well as The Book of Dust - they are sitting on the table waiting for me.

As a full-time nomadic sitter, it’s not all that practical to carry/lug books around with me but I have 7 paperbacks with me at the moment. I also have some books in my storage locker in London. I have joined the local library (Oxfordshire) as I am doing a cat sit for 3.5 mths (and the host has all the GoT books). I also recently discovered that it is possible to buy books at very low prices such as £1 or £2 in England at charity shops.

I also watched some great TV series & movies, but that might be better in another thread?


As you are a library member, see if you can download this app. It’s full of audio and Ebooks for free. No need to return them either, they digitally disappear when due to be returned. There’s lots of different UK counties on there, sign in with your library card number and PIN which I think is your date of birth.

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Thanks @Daisy999 I have downloaded the app and reserved the e-audiobook of PG Wodehouse: Jeeves and Wooster - the Collected Radio Dramas which will be a lot of fun to listen to :joy:

Pleased that you can access it, I love the app. I think you can have up to 10 audio/ebooks on loan at any time. Plenty to choose from. Enjoy!

@cat.tails I am an avid reader too. On my travels everywhere, especially India, I always used to buy cheap second hand books or use book exchanges in various guest houses. I have not bought a brand new full price book in decades! I love the idea of a book being shared and read by many people! You are right charity shops in the UK are full of second hand books. I used to stock up on my annual visits to the UK- being based mainly in continental Europe when not in Asian lands. One year I forgot to buy any! Disaster! Soon after we made a long road trip to Spain & Portugal in our motorhome and I could not find any English books or other decent reading material anywhere- for 6 whole weeks nothing proper to read just rubbish newspapers & Chat magazine!!- soo frustrating!! This was before we all had smart phones and internet on the go. On return I bought myself a Kindle so I could download a lot of books to keep me going wherever I went, never mind the saving of space in my luggage! I soon got addicted to E-reading but still love a proper book inbetween. Right now I’m reading a real book- a gripping John Grisham courtroom drama!
Another tip I picked up -whilst housesitting in the UK over the summer- was when I discovered libraries sell off their books after a while to make room for new stock- my current JG is one of those- bought for 50p! Most are not more than £1/2 max!
Happy reading! :blush:

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I have never owned a Kindle but I sometimes used to read books on my iPad. I prefer old-fashioned, hard copy books but a Kindle makes a lot of sense for nomads!

For people/sitters in the UK, Oxfam Bookshops are great for secondhand book selections and bargains, but I also look at the book section in all the charity shops now. I bought some books in Brentford, Essex at a charity bookshop, the paperbacks looked and smelt brand new but they were only £1 each - fabulous!

Wodehouse is hilarious. Another great book is “Confederacy of Dunces” by JK Toole. Brilliant and hilarious.


If you ever buy a kindle make sure to buy a ‘paperwhite’ or equivilant-its so much more relaxing on the eyes as the screen has a built in light that shines onto the screen in the way a lamp shines on a book- rather than the back lighting of a smart phone or iPad where the light shines out at you and gets tiring. If that makes sense!
Yes I too still prefer a real book- and I’m taking a natural break from my kindle at the mo- but its fantastic to have so many books at my finger tips whenever I want! I have about 600 books on my Kindle right now. Whenever I browse for new ones to download I keep my buying budget to charity shop prices- maximum £2! And there are 1000s of books on Kindle to choose from in that price range! And there are 100s of free books too- e.g all the Penguin classics! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Personal development, quantum physics, integrative medicine, neuroplasticity, finance, holistic whole person care.
An avid reader with no apologies.
When I first retired, I read over 100 books in the first month. Had an extensive library at home but now everything is digital, saved in the cloud, kindle app (no device required), google drive and docs file.
I use pdfdrive.com for all my reading now. Absolutely free. Turn off pop ups to avoid being lured away.
Just download, read at your leisure whatever floats your boat.
Movies? Also proud aficionado.

Matrix, Vikings… :heart::heart::heart::heart::heart:

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thanks for the info @Amparo

pdfdrive.com looks great - I will read some books via that site.

I had no idea we can get kindle app without owning a kindle but tbh I don’t want to read on my phone. I will try to get used to reading on my laptop sometimes, but not on my iPhone. That’s a step too far!

Do you mean the Matrix movies or is it a TV series? I saw the Matrix film years ago but I didn’t understand it so I did not watch the other films after that one :joy:

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I read anywhere on whatever I have :nerd_face:
On the phone, I have to turn it horizontally and sometimes zoom in and is great for when I am awake at 2 am or just sitting waiting, traveling.
I have a Mac and an IPad and I take notes of the highlights so I can reference and release the copy of the “book”. In and out, have to keep cycling them…
You can download the kindle app to any device, I’m an apple gal but I do believe they have Android version.
Matrix movies, the first is the best and it is so much more than a sci-fi film. It is riddled with deep hidden meaning. It’s really a documentary, a spin of real life. :smirk: but that’s a whole other topic for a whole other forum. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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How could you possibly read 100 books in a month @amparo? I couldn’t read that amount in a year…

Anything one obsesses over is possible.

Book: The Magic of Thinking Big

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Hilary Mantel is on my summer reading list, when we have a few months of sits lined up! I’m so looking forward to that.

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Finished Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies last night - what an excellent book.

Will now read Pigs Have Wings by PG Wodehouse which should be good for a few laughs.

@Amparo - maybe I will try watching The Matrix again…

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@smiley I can see how @Amp aro could read that many. Our grandson borders on “genius” and had a goal of 100 when he was 7 years old and did it! And those weren’t “kids” books. He is 15 now, an avid basketball player on a traveling team, a tutor mentor for middle school kids and in a program above IB that has him finishing high school with a two year college certificate and has been asked to “apply” for the number 1 high school in the USA (which is a public school by the way) during the last two years of his high school degree.
I’m lucky if my brain can get through two a month unless I am totally engaged in the book. I am so jealous of those who can achieve that type of goal!


Love this and I will tell you why. I started reading when I was 5. Of course they were simple children’s books but I would lose myself in the stories. They became real to me and then I started reading out loud to my younger siblings. I don’t believe a day has passed since then that I do not read.
Still enjoy “stories” but reading to me is a gateway into the minds and lives of others. It opens doors in the mind at a much faster rate than travel. It sparks curiosity and the seeds planted well grow into fantastical beings, a new breed of human, like your grandson.


compared to @Amparo I am quite a slow reader. Depending on the format of the book, I can read 100-200 pages per day. It also depends how many hours I spend reading in a day.

Just went to the library and borrowed two more Wodehouse books - it felt like striking gold!

Has anyone read any novels by Philippa Gregory? I’m wondering if her Tudor novels are worth reading? I saw the film of The Other Boleyn Girl but I didn’t read the book. My preference is more towards Mantel’s type of writing rather than bodice-ripping style so that is why I am asking about Philippa Gregory…

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I’ve read quite a few of her books. Some are better than others but I enjoy the topic.

Currently I’m reading Spare.


I’m not sure that I have read any novels set in the Tudor period apart from Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy, but I like that period of history, its so colourful! There are a couple of podcasts about the Tudor period that I listen to and enjoy.