Hobbiton awaits, at the end of Mordor

Lockdown, this Autumn, will be harder to endure than the one in Spring.

For many of us the bright days earlier in the year and the prospect of Summer were a gift that helped us cope with Not Going Out. Alas, those days are gone for this year, and the standard British winter is approaching, eight hours of daylight chock-full of grey skies and drizzle.

Dreich.

We need plans to get through this. Books can help.

Non-fiction, to show us how the future can be changed, to remind us that nothing lasts forever, to give us ideas on how to build a new way of life, and to inspire us with the lives of people who have shifted gravity.

Maps and gazeteers and natural history, showing us where to find places for wild swimming or birding or just sitting with a Thermos of tea and a packet of sandwiches watching waves on a beach.

Self-help manuals to guide us if we decide that this time round we will take up yoga, or sourdough, or just focus on our mental health and wellbeing.

Painting by Norman Rockwell, "The Bookworm" - man in a raincoat nose-deep in a book
The bookworm in his natural habitat

Photography, puzzle books, colouring books; blank stamp albums for gradual filling; text books for home schooling; reference books for when you need more information than the internet can provide; music books for when you finally get round to pick up that instrument you’ve been meaning to practise for years.

And, of course, fiction.

Fiction, where marvellous worlds await within the pages, with new cities and familiar places seen through the eyes of heroes and villains; adventures in time and space, on air-balloons or rockets or sailing ships; experiences we will never have – or can remember, or empathise with, or wish on our bitter enemies.

Fiction: journeys, alone or otherwise, to show us how many have travelled such a path as this before us, and how many are with us right now, sharing the light of their lanterns through the darkness ahead.

To remind us that Hobbiton awaits, at the end of Mordor.


This lockdown, please consider buying books from independent bookshops.

The best way to do this is to buy online from the bookshop’s website, if they have one.

Otherwise, you can buy books online from Hive, and choose which bookshop you want to benefit from your transaction. The Hive website will suggest bookshops near your postcode, but you can pick another if it’s special to you.

Published in: on November 2, 2020 at 9:00 am  Comments Off on Hobbiton awaits, at the end of Mordor  
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