Posted in Family, Reading

The Joy of Sets (of Books, that is)

Cover of "Abigail: The Breeze Fairy (Rain...
Cover via Amazon

This evening, everyone in our house has been immersed in a book. There’s not much to beat a good book, beyond the thrill of discovering that the one you are currently enjoying is part of a set.  Once you’ve finished, there’s another one, just as good, lined up to take its place.

My husband is gripped by Lustrum, the latest Robert Harris thriller to be set in Ancient Rome.  He’d been unable to put down its predecessors, Pompeii and Imperium, written about three years apart.

I’m lapping up The Perfect Paragon, the sixteenth Agatha Raisin detective story.  M C Beaton can be relied on to churn out another one or two each year, in between new Hamish Macbeths, but I must slow down now so as not to overtake her.

My small daughter Laura need not hold back on her current passion: the Rainbow Magic books by the sweetly named Daisy Meadows.   Once she’s finished Amy the Amethyst Fairy, fifth of the seven Jewel Fairies, she can progress to the Weather Fairies: Crystal the Snow Fairy, Abigail the Breeze Fairy – you get the idea.  Then there’s a set for the colours in the Rainbow – Ruby the Red Fairy, Amber the Orange Fairy.  Plus a handful on a party theme – Cherry(Cake), Melodie(Music). I’m sure she’ll love the Funday Fairies – there’ one of those for every day of the week. Plus there are fairies rolled out for special events. Laura doesn’t know it yet, but the Easter Fairy will accompany her Easter eggs. Kate the Royal Wedding Fairy is probably best read before April 29th.

Discovering eight more Rainbow Magic titles are due to be published  in July 2011, I suspect there may be more than one pen behind the Daisy Meadows name. But can you ever have too many fairies?  Not if you’re a seven year old girl.  And I’m sure there will be plenty more where these came from.

In fact, now I think about it, there are fairies everywhere I look.  Putting out the dustbins, I dream up the Recycling Fairies: Polly the Plastics Fairy, Bella (Bottle), Coco (Cardboard), Nina (Newspaper), Rita (Rags).  The Housework Fairies are always welcome to visit us – come on down,  Deirdre the Dusting Fairy, and bring your friend Ida to do the Ironing.

Did I say there’s nothing better than a set of books? But there is, as a glance up at my bookshelf reminds me: the boxed set.  Taking pride of place is a special edition boxed set of P G Wodehouse, which hastened my recovery from pneumonia a few years ago, and one of Sherlock Holmes, bought just because it was so lovely.  Of classic boxed sets I will never tire.  And you could get an awful lot of fairies in a box.

Author:

Author of warm, witty and gently funny fiction and non-fiction, including the popular Sophie Sayers Village Mystery series, beginning with "Best Murder in Show", inspired by her life in an English Cotswold community, short stories and essays about country life. As Commissioning Editor for the Alliance of Independent Authors' Advice Centre, she writes guidebooks authors. She speaks at many literature festivals and writing events, and is part of BBC Radio Gloucestershire's monthly Book Club broadcast. She is founder and director of the free Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival which takes place in April, a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association, and an ambassador for children's reading charity Read for Good and the Type 1 diabetes charity JDRF.

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