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Friday, 22 January 2010

Vampires

I love bookshops, and Waterstones has to be one of my favourite stores to browse through. Luckily I don't get into Hull that often or my bank balance would be zero, because I cannot leave there with at least 2 books in a carrier bag - usually its a lot more. Reading is a real passion, and I do have shelves full of books I am waiting to read, but somehow I cannot resist buying more.

Last year I discovered the Stephenie Meyer Twilight Saga and promptly brought the first 3. I past on the 4th because it was still in hardback and as I do a lot of reading in bed I prefer paperbacks. I know they are aimed at teenage girls, but with a passion for vampires and anything supernatural, I had to have them. Of course once I started them, I could not put them down. Although I found the main character, Bella, extremely irritating, I still found the books amazing. I past them to a friend at work who also fell in love with them. Like me she found it difficult knowing there was a 4th book and when she saw the hardback on sale for half price, she could not resist buying it. Having finished it in a few days she then passed it on to me. Last night while I was at work with her I finished the final chapters, and we had great pleasure enjoying the stories again together.

This is another pleasure associated with reading. Finding someone with the same tastes to discuss the book with. I brought the dvd of Twilight the moment it came out, though have to admit I did not really enjoy it. Edward was not at all as I imagined him, and although he appealed to younger females, I did not find him very special at all. Though Kerry and her daughter thought he was lovely. So I will not be rushing to see the new film.

However a recent run of True Blood on TV has thrown up a truly beautiful vampire in Bill Compton, played by Stephen Moyer. This is a lot more grown up version of the genre, and although Sookie Stackhouse, played by Anna Paquin, seems a little on the young side, seems to tick a few more boxes. I cannot wait for the next series.

Anne Rice states vampires are "so last year" and has moved onto religious fiction. I very much enjoyed the Vampire Chronicles, but will probably be giving these new ones a miss.

Also on a slightly occult note, the new shop now has an interesting selection of hand crafted witches based on the Witches of Pendle. Local self confessed witches who were hanged in 1612. The details on these dolls is amazing, some with really cute earrings, and the shoes and tatty clothes. My favourite is a rolly polly one on a broomstick whose name I cannot remember, but she has a lovely face. I think this line will prove to be popular.

What is it about the supernatural? I used to be addicted to Stephen King books till I found his characters too unsympathetic to bother with.

I think as religion plays less of a role in our everyday lives we search for other routes to satisfy a primeval urge. On Tuesday I went to a friends funeral in a Catholic Church that I had never been in. As I have got older the lure of the church has been stronger. The peace in the buildings, the smell of incense, all help to make you feel secure and safe in a sometimes unsafe world. This seems a bit of a contradiction with my preference of reading matter. Although the modern day vampires seem to be people we have some sympathy with. Who we don't want anything bad to happen to. The immortal hero fighting the bad, be they human or supernatural. Humankind has always needed a being to believe in. Someone who they feel will keep them safe. Are Edward, Bill and Lestat the morality keepers? For those of us who are past the "Once upon a time" and "They live happily ever after" stories.

Or are they just a good read with a healthy dose of unrealism in them........

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