"What we do and what we love. Books. Reading them, talking about them, enjoying them.
We meet regularly, once a month at Yeovil College to discuss our current choice and all things bookish. Borrow any of our current or past choices, or take out one of our exclusive Nook e-readers.
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We tweet as @yc_reading" - Yeovil College Reading Team
1st Prize Winner, Nick Barton's piece "The Stranger's We've Become"..
I liked to think we’d spend our last night together singing songs not
to mourn or regret, but to smile. With no birds outside to hear us, I wanted the
stars to gather in constellations above to listen.
But, that’s not what happened.
Instead, under a hanging light bulb, Stacy and I read in silence while
the world outside hummed on without a passing thought as to what we were doing.
The quiet between us went on and on until I gave up reading altogether.
Watching her reflection in the wardrobe mirror, she sat on the comfy sofa, her
knees hugged to her chest and her headphones pressed against her ears made her
look awfully cute. She read a paperback open against her thighs and I knew she
could see me watching.
When I turned around to glance at her, she said without looking: ‘Stop
being so needy, I’m reading your book.’
I went back to my story and she hadn’t even broken through ten pages.
Last week I read a novel and said she’d love it and I kidded myself into
thinking she’d snatch it up from the nearest bookstore and blaze through it.
Instead, she had better things to do and better books to read.
Then, I had had enough. Whether her comment was supposed to cut me or not,
I threw my book through the open window into the night.
‘What the hell was that?’
Her eyes burned into mine. ‘What?’
Then began the argument that woke up a neighbor or two. The echoes of
our distress screamed out of the window and the whole district knew that two
nameless teenagers had landed at the crash site of another failed relationship.
After an exchange of heated words, I told the truth she couldn’t deny.
‘Let’s face it, Stacy. We’re unhappy.’
Downstairs with her clothes she kept in one of my drawers bundled up in
her arms, she turned back, her long blonde hair falling down her shoulders and
bid me one final goodbye, a look of sadness I’d never seen before and I’d
always remember that I was the one who made such a beautiful face cry.
Which is why I’m here alone on the beach with a pale moonlight shining
high above me, the titles of every book we ever read blinking back in the
starlight. To my surprise, one cardboard box housed all of the stories we’d
shared told from authors we’d never meet and right now, they deserved a burial
at sea. I always preferred the beach at night, less people. If there were any,
they’d either walk their dogs or stroll along the dying tide wondering where
the last ten years went. Me, I was putting a dead relationship to bed.
The first book I fished out happened to be the one that brought us together
in the first place, ‘The Fault in Our Stars’. As a newbie at the reading group,
Stacy told us all how much she loved the book and when I agreed, we hijacked
the meeting and ranted about it. Then, everything fell into place and after a
few dates and book exchanges, we clicked. Happier times, I thought as I dumped
it in the sand. Beneath that was ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’.I remember the conversation about this.
‘My brother,’ she said,’ recommended this one.’
‘He said it’s one of those books that you can read a hundred pages
without even knowing it. He likes the dark stuff, you know, things that make
you think about the mind and whatnot.’
I checked the back of the book. ‘An asylum?’
‘Yeah!’ So enthusiastic, even then. ‘Think it like ‘The Great Escape’,
but in an asylum. The main character, McMurphy is pretty much Hilts from ‘The
Great Escape’. A man with a plan, and a willingness to dismantle the enemy
So, of course I read it, and to echo her brother’s words, I read a
hundred pages without even knowing it.
I dropped ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’ beside ‘The Fault in our Stars’ and tipped over
the box and gathered them all up in a pile of ten novels. Each one told a story
about us, but not one book narrated the fallout. Maybe there isn’t one, maybe
that’s my story to tell. And with that, I guess I have.
One by one, I threw them into the ocean where the waves would only
bring them back, but that didn’t matter. What mattered was moving past her and
forwarding into the uncertainty of the future. Stacy and I were unhappy, but
she meant everything to me and sometimes, I felt so lost without her to guide
me. If she was my compass, she’d always take me home.
With the books dead in the water, I wrote my letter, slipped it into a
bottle and threw it out to sea as well.
So, if you’re reading this, please note that you’re reading the story
of another hopeless teenager who thought he landed on his feet with the perfect
girl and ended up hurt like so many others. I’m sorry if the fragments of the
bottle hurt you, but if they did, then that’s how I’ve felt ever since I broke
up with Stacy.
You’ll never find me wherever you look, because like those books I
threw away, I am also lost at sea.
Welcome to #FictionFriday, where we ask Yeovil College staff to share their thoughts, opinions and experiences of reading and stories. Each staff member selects questions to answer from a finely honed and crafted selection, designed to entertain and educate us about their reading lives. Today is our final Fiction Friday, and our YC Reading work experience student, Hattie Harwood, had the pleasure of interviewing our principal, John Evans, about the merits of books and reading.
Hi John! Firstly, we need to know which Hogwarts House you'd be sorted into!: Gryffindor . Never read them, but I’ve watched them – my sons have read them. I
know people really connect with them. What’s the first book
you remember reading, or being read? I know exactly which one. I came to reading late in life, and
it was John Grisham's “A Time to Kill”. I was already teaching, having gone
through school, then an apprenticeship, teacher training and lecturing without
really getting into reading. I’d neve…
Welcome to our first ever #FictionFriday, where we ask Yeovil College staff to share their thoughts, opinions and just plain random tastes in books. Each staff member selects questions to answer from a finely honed and crafted selection, designed to entertain and educate us about their reading lives.
Today we're talking to Chris Canning. Chris is our LRC Co-ordinator, and he can often be found helping students with referencing and e-resources in the Quiet Study Area. Chris is a huge science fiction, fantasy and graphic novel fan, and has helped us select great titles for our fiction section, which is still growing steadily like a Hobbit after second breakfast. His Hogwarts House is Ravenclaw. What's the first book you remember reading, or being read? A book called "Tim and the Hidden People." It was a series of books where a boy finds a key that lets him see hidden people. Pirates and dead people and also some very scary trees... It was a little bit dark! With a talk…
Welcome to the YC Reading blog! We have hosted a wide variety of literary events and competitions, and initiated literary initiatives at Yeovil College, and this academic year we'd like to invite you to join us in engaging with literature, fiction and creative writing. Because we know our students and staff are intelligent, passionate and focussed, we want to emphasise the sheer pleasure and escapism of reading. The joy of talking about books you love - or loathe - with fellow readers. Finding at least five minutes in your day to engage and escape into a compelling story is a welcome form of self-care, relaxation and peace. Introducing #FictionFriday Our Fiction Fridays have long been a staple of the @YC_Reading Twitter feed. Each Friday, our LRC staff would suggest a fiction book selection, or specific novel, that we recommended reading. These choices ranged in genre, complexity and subject - from sci-fi and fantasy to heartwarming memoirs and literary blockbusters. Each Friday,