Back to Books ~ Week 1

There was a time when I always had at least two books on the go and had to have a few lined up so that I’d never be without.

This was a habit that was with me from very early childhood up to about ten years ago ~ and at that point I was addicted to Audio Books so got my literary fix. In recent times, for reasons I’m not too clear about, both real books and audio books have slipped off the locker by my bed and it’s something I have come to regret hugely.

Reading is an addiction; there’s no doubt about that and I intend to get hooked again. I know that when I lost the sight in one of my eyes for a few months in 2003-4, I thought it was the end of the world and couldn’t imagine a life without reading. So how on earth have I slipped into this non-bookish phase?

Today is the first day of the rest of my life and I’m glad to report that books are back. I made my way to the library ~ just like I did every Saturday when I was a kid ~ and rummaged around looking for books that tickled my imagination. There were many as a child and there were hundreds and hundreds today.

I had a browse in the literature section and scolded myself about all the great works that I’ve never read. But, this return to reading isn’t about beating myself up; it’s about getting back into the enjoyment of reading.

The book that I simply had to borrow and that I’ve gobbled up in the last few hours is one that made me laugh out loud as I was getting the tea ready.


For those of you who have never heard of Terry Wogan, he was an Irish man who had a glowing career on radio and television in Britain.

My real introduction to him came in October 1974 when I used to get a lift from Drogheda to Dublin early on Monday mornings during my first year at university. Terry would be on the radio and I fell in love with his voice, laugh, wit and sense of fun. I wanted those journeys to go on forever!

Here’s a few of his quotable quotes that had me pondering, chuckling and half swooning as I raced through the book:

Beauty, physical attraction, eyesight, knees, hair, all fade with time. Only kindness matters …


The most popular person at a party is the listener – particularly at an Irish party.


Talk only if you must. Keep it short and to the point. You don’t want people to think you’re a politician. Nobody wants a conversation in a lift, on the Tube, on a bus, on a plane, at the top of a back-swing, reading or writing, or when your mouth’s full – button it. Pretend you’re meeting with the Queen; speak only when spoken to…


Never sent a tweet in my life.


(Are you listening, Donald?)

If you wish to infuriate your friendly neighbourhood Irishman, call him ‘Paddy’ and describe his conversation as ‘Blarney.’ Only numpties and tourists hang by their ankles to kiss the Blarney Stone, a lump of a rock in an Irish castle, liberally covered in saliva and lipstick.


If you’re a success, never forget how much of it you owe to luck. I remarked on this to a captain of industry, who was affronted at the idea, He thought it was all due to him. It’s a game of chance. and if the chips fall your way, pick them up and count them. Along with your blessings …

And finally, this one, with the accompanying cartoon:

Nobody’s good at everything – you could be a late developer. I’ll bet Albert Einstein never got a birdie in his life …


Ah yes, I’m back to books. Thanks Terry!

Details: Terry Wogan (2014) The Little Book of Common Sense …or Pause for Thought with Wogan, London: Orion Books. 

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

20 thoughts on “Back to Books ~ Week 1”

  1. Enjoyed it! I love reading, too, and have ever since I first learned how before first grade. One of my “funnest” things was going to the public library in Stellenbosch, South Africa and buying some books from the bargain bin, including one about Afrikaans grammar–and frankly, I neither read nor speak Afrikaans, beyond the few words I learned to be social or to respond to the police officer who stopped me one day: “in Engels, asseblief?” 🙂

  2. Great quotes! As an American, I would never dream of using the word ‘Paddy’. (The origin, I understand, is a bit derogatory…) Also the idea of kissing the Blarney Stone does seem downright — unsanitary! Great post 🙂

    1. Hi Christine, thanks for writing.
      Here in Ireland, a huge number of people are called Paddy or some variation of it and are proud of their name but it’s the generalisations that pose the problem. As for the Blarney Stone, it’s a fun thing to go there but a bit over-rated in my humble opinion. (I have kissed it in my time!)

  3. I haven’t read that one yet, it seems like a wonderful book. Good of you to go back to reading. I am on my 5th book now for my reading challenge.

    1. Arlene, you sound well ahead in the reading stakes. I don’t think I had fallen off the wagon quite as much as I had thought but it’s something I need to be aware of or the habit will be gone and a lot of precious time will have passed me by.

  4. are right how we tend to leave things that brought us pleasure behind only to renew their acquaintance again like a long lost friend..I enjoyed your post and also am guilty of putting down my love for books…Today I will look upon my stash of books and choose one to begin my journey with…

  5. I have bedside table books, studio books, living-room books and handbag books. Sometimes (actually, often…..normally) reading books is ‘3 minutes here and 5 minutes there’. I always wonder what at what age I will read non-stop and uninterrupted for hours. Maybe never. Meanwhile with the 3 minutes here and 5 minutes there, I read many books per year. Not fantastic, however still the best possible scenario having a busy life.

    1. That all sounds very familiar, Paula. I’m making a more determined effort at the moment and thus far it’s working. I found some wonderful poems today in a book I got from the library. They are still playing in my head.

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