Is this Bibliomania? July 04 2015

Is it yet another sign of this gentle madness or in this case not so gentle madness?

The problem is that sometimes (okay most times) a novel stays with me so clearly and vibrantly that it starts to colour the way I think and live.

It has always been this way.

Boarding school was a rude awakening.

Enid Blyton made it sound like so much fun!

It wasn't.

But I did not hold this against her...and still believe in all that I read.

Sometimes this is to my detriment.

It is a well known fact that I rarely enjoy chocolate.

Strange but true.

Except for the time when I read the beautiful novel Chocolat.

I became a chocoholic of note and spent days scouring  Johannesburg for the most decadent hot chocolate and hand made morsels of chocolate heaven.

This book did not inspire me to indulge in those brightly coloured treats at the supermarket check outs.

It was the chocolatiers that I frequented.

Looking for chocolate teaspoons and chocolate cremes.

Thank you Joanne Harris for introducing me to this world of wicked delight.


Then there was the time I ate huge quantities of Oreos after reading Wally Lamb's first novel until I too came undone.

I have eaten only noodles after reading a Chinese novel and made  green tea to sip on while I read about Japan's Geishas.

But this is harmless and indeed for the  chocolatiers in town a rather profitable time.

It is when i start to travel things can go awry.

Orhan Pamuk and Elif Shafak can be held solely responsible for my love of Turkey.

In itself this is not a bad thing .

But I tend to obsess.

Lokum became my staple diet.

I wanted to immerse myself in the smells and sounds of a long gone Ottoman era.


It was after reading about Istanbul in Barbara Nadel's well researched novels (I can vouch for her authenticity) that I dragged my family to the worst parts of the city because of various scenes in her books.

It took a few days to realise that being a crime writer it was more appropriate for her to set her scene in the underbelly of the city.

But we do have her to thank for the visit to Cappadocia.

I am forever grateful.

My first visit to America was inspired by Jack Kerouac.

I wanted to go cross country in a Greyhound.

Sadly at the time it turned out that having a Delta Airline Pass was the most economical way to travel.

I shudder to think how I harmed the planet by going to Atlanta 22 times as I travelled from city to city.

But then the wonderful Barbara Kingsolver had not written "Animal Vegetable Miracle" yet.

After reading that my life transformed into one of awareness of carbon footprint and eating only locally grown produce.Thank goodness we do not live in Antartica...that would have made life a little difficult.

Visiting San Francisco last year I again visited the City Lights book store to pay homage to the inspirational beat authors who coloured my life.

The list goes on.

But in my defence while in the United States the airline pass allowed me to visit Chatanooga ... I couldn't resist  (bad idea) and Nashville after seeing the movie (better idea)

It was the seventies after all!

And the truth is ...

I still look for the magic faraway tree.

And dream of pixies and Goblins.

And immerse myself in the books that I am reading

That is what it is all about.