Can a fiction book make you want to dress up?
Reading doesn’t require any self polishing and scrubbing up. In fact, the experience of reading can even be improved by slouching on your sofa in your cosiest and scruffiest clothes, ancient items which your wardrobe shamelessly regurgitates year after year: the pair of pyjamas you really should have binned a few seasons ago; your high school jumper with ripped up sleeves and moth holes; an extra large Frankie Goes To Hollywood T-shirt bought as a joke.
You get the point – we all have a couple of those items lurking around in the privacy of our homes.
Imagine the unpleasantness of worrying about creasing your dress or jacket when sitting down to read; or watching out for cheeky little drops of coffee or tea staining your top when simultaneously drinking and reading, a must if you don’t want to miss a single word of your favourite chapter.
And don’t get me started on those secret bathroom reading sessions to hide away from the children and have a proper “me and my book” time. Could you imagine hiding in the toilet in your designer clothes?
Like spicy mustard spread on a chocolate cake or fish pate’ on you cereal, smart dress and a good reading experience just don’t match.
And yet some books draw you uncontrollably towards a more elegant and sophisticated choice of clothes. You read one chapter in your shapeless gym pants, put your book down, and inexplicably a metamorphosis begins. You are guided by a mind which is no longer your own; you shower, brush your hair and re-do your make up and, like a robot, wear a fresh pair of trousers and top. You might reach for your stilettos even if they are a completely nonsensical choice on a snowy day in mid winter.
Or worse, you mentally rehearse which shops to bring your hard-earned cash to at the earliest opportunity for a revamp of your tired wardrobe.
You don’t know why, but you do all those things. No need to be ashamed of your weakness. It’s not your fault. The book you are enjoying so much just tricked you! It now controls you. It draws your hand to your credit card to shop for something classier which you don’t really want or need. It makes you want to look slimmer, sleeker, more sophisticated. Your favourite book of the moment just made you want to dress up!
Any ideas about books that exert such irresistible power?
The Devil Wears Prada did it for me. The film only made things worse. I just felt Iwanted to look my best by embracing the latest fashion trends and advice. And yet, shopping is not my favourite pastime, and I do have a frightening long list of shabby items in my wardrobe, some dating back to the 1980s and glued to my body as soon as the weather gets that little bit colder, or if I have a really long day at work and just want to chillax.
What else? Breakfast at Tiffany’s of course! Again, the film makes a meal of Audrey Hepburn’s gorgeous figure in that LBD (little black dress for non-English speakers!) or Chanel number. She gets changed in taxis for Goodness sake, and looks super sophisticated!
Did a book ever make you dress up? Any ideas very welcome.
Until the next instalment of Can a Fiction Book Make you…, I greet you, fellow book lovers…and fellow – probably fewer – glass appreciation individuals out there too!
Easy Glass Jar recipe for the New Year
This recipe is naturally linked to the New Year short-lived resolution to eat more healthily. Where else to keep healthy food than in clear, clean, non toxic, reusable and beautifully versatile glass jar?
I called it Tangy Cabbage – eating cabbage will never be the same again.
Thinly slice an onion and gently soften in a drop of – or a lot of, depending on the strength of your will power – olive oil (or any other vegetable oil)
Thinly slice a beautifully compact white cabbage and add to the onion
Season with a little sea salt
Allow to cool
When cool, add some cider and some balsamic vinegar and stir
Place in a glass jar
Use as accompaniment to meat or fish, or to add to a casserole. Unexpectedly delicious mixed with boiled rice and very, very healthy.
The jar can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. It can be re-heated in the microwave oven or emptied into a pan as required.