Page Turners…

bookworm
The thumbing of  paper,
eyes locked on the page,
mind absorbed in a story
lost in a bygone age.
Imagining the villain
or hero playing fair
‘tis such
wonderful adventure
safely cocooned in your chair.
LadyP©2013

I remember vividly my Mum sitting in a chair, reading her Mills & Boon stories. Love and romance all gift wrapped in a happy package. So many books lying around that I started to read them, started to almost become addicted, the pull of the stories, the conformity of two people, meeting each other, going through convoluted misunderstandings, then the finale, the marriage at the end… ‘twas always a happy ending as I said… Or was it?… Mum was divorced, left to raise us on her own… Yet she still enjoyed reading about the thrill of romance, true love and meeting Mr Right, the One for you… It seems from childhood we’re brainwashed into thinking that two parents, (with 1.2 children) is the family unit… and I suppose it is, kind of,  the basis or foundation of society still. Although the boundaries have blurred somewhat and now you have split families, a parent with two sometimes even three, (or more) family units,  joined with one, split up and then happily joined with another. Are they on the lookout for Mr/Mrs Right?  Or just playing the field one wonders … It seems from day one we’re imprinted with a normality stamp, you’re either male or female and once catalogued you conform to what’s expected of that group. From then onwards It takes many years to ‘find’ yourself, to fight off your imprinted outlook and actually ‘see’ personally what’s right for you as an individual.  Marriage has almost become old-fashioned, partnerships are the norm, with hyphenated surnames for the children.  Same sex couples can marry in some Churches and have children by adoption or surrogacy … I’m not saying anything is wrong with that,  just asking why?… Are they caught up in the Love and Romance of Mills and Boon… Searching for that elusive Happy Ever After Label? 
It seems strange to me that I still recall those books with such affection
and since Mum died I haven’t thought of them at all ‘til now … ‘tis just a memory of books I once read … xPenx

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36 responses to “Page Turners…

  1. I love your poem, and your fond memories of your mum reading her books and you falling in love with reading them as well!
    We all spend a good bit of time searching out who we really are. Looking for our place in life.
    You, my sweet Lady Pen, and the one of the dearest people I know and admire….Now lets have the hot cuppa tea and hot out of the oven biscuits with some softened butter and jams a plenty! 🙂
    Love and hugs, my friend! xxx

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    • love and hugs to you, Deb, and that cuppa with freshly cooked biccies are always compelling. (I can even smell the wonderful aroma…’tis making my mouth water…) Glad you enjoyed the poem and my dipping into my memory banks… Many thanks for your wonderful response… xPenx

      bookworm

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  2. Beautiful poem Pen and such great memories of your mum. I still enjoy reading love stories but I have to confess, I love a good murder mystery more. xoxox

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    • my thanks to you Beth, for your lovely comment. I must admit too, that a murder mystery is just as enjoyable, (not for the victim I know, but their sacrifice is for the greater good of a compelling storyline. 😉 ) …. xxPenxx

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  3. I have to confess as a teenager I would also read Mills and Boon Pen .. but once romance in my own life started the books were downed and nappies and sleepless nights took the Boon out of the Mills! 🙂 lol …
    loved your memories and your poem Pen.. and many thanks for dropping in.. Hugs Sue

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    • always a pleasure Sue, and many thanks for your response to my memory. My mum always enjoyed her reading, another favourite of hers were Westerns.. one habit which I didn’t join in although I remember reading Ghost Stories from an old family book when I was about 12, in bed and scaring myself half to death. I suppose whatever you read as a child always stays with you, as a basis… and you go on from there… Have a wonderful week my friend. Hugs to you…xPenx

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  4. My Mum used to read Mills and Boon too. I have happy homely memories of Mum in her chair by the fire, and her asleep with the book on her lap.But sad ones too when she could no longer read. Beautiful poem Pen.

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    • Hi there Sweet Willow, glad you enjoyed the poem, I was saddened to read about your mum finally not able to read, memories are hard sometimes, but they paint the picture in our minds of our loved ones, sweet are some, others are tear jerking… but they add up to the whole person… and how they mattered in our lives. Warmest of hugs to you … xPenx

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  5. Mills And Boon churned out thousands of titles over the years and I haven’t read ANY of them! 🙂

    Loved the poem hun! 🙂

    Huge hugs!

    Prenin.

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    • They still do Sir Prenin, I found a link and attached it to t’bookworm… They must make millions churning out t’romances … I think I remember Mum saying they were getting a little racy for her.. (some not all methinks for she continued reading them 😉 ) … Glad you enjoyed the poem my friend. … Luv n’ hugs… xPenx

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  6. Beautiful poem!! Books really have a way with us, don’t they? 🙂

    I like what you wrote afterwards also. Somehow, we learn to become disillusioned with love and how things turn out in real life, but still the idea of love and finding the right person thrills. Even after seeing everything, there is still always some hope… 🙂

    But I too wonder, what is the point in all of this? I know I’ve spent my life so far trying to figure myself out…to by myself rather than what I am supposed to be. Anyways…lets see where life takes us 🙂

    And books are surely the greatest comfort 🙂 I wonder what so many of us would be without them…

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    • Books certainly do, dp, and I suppose it depends on the writer… and the way the story unfolds… If I’m grabbed by the first page then that’s it I’m hooked ’til the end…
      It was strange but I felt compelled to share the memory of how my mother enjoyed the romances, despite never actually finding her Mr Right, mayhap my father was that man, I will never know, but after they divorced they had no contact (except for once, which I remember vividly)… and neither did we children see him before he died. I think that is a crucial part of my make-up, romance wise and living wise… and yes, I wholeheartedly agree, I wouldn’t be able to live without my books… I think there are some in every room here. Wouldn’t feel the same if they were all on Kindle. methinks. 😉 xPenx

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  7. Love the poem Lady P. I remember those Mills and Boon books, they were so popular with the Ladies when I was growing up.. But I haven’t seen one for many years…

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    • Thank you Lady Jude, I’m pleased you enjoyed my page turner… If you click the little bookworm, there’s a link which takes you to the Mills and Boon Site… It seems they’re still in business… Hope you and yours have a great week my friend. xPenx

      bookworm

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  8. Les pages se tournent et se racontent en histoires, confortablement dans un fauteuil nous savons écouter le bruissement du papier qui de pages en pages se délivre à nous dans des mots merveilleux !
    ils sont bien jolis tes mots à toi miss Pen !
    bises et bon lundi

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    • ah Paul, many thanks for your lovely comment, and words seem to be our theme… So many ways they can add to the spice, mystery and the very essence of life… Whether spoken or written on the pristine white page… Nothing better than curling up, warm and toasty with a good book… (or a good man methinks … 😉 ) … hugs aplenty and have a wonderful week… xPenx

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  9. Mills and Boons my sister in law has read a vast amount of these Pen along with Catherine Cookson her library is vast. I must admit to not reading even one, Romantic books Don’t appeal to me for some reason , maybe it’s a child memories thing.
    Love the poem
    Hugs Sheila xx

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    • Maybe so, Sheila, I think we’re conditioned by childhood memories into what we enjoy later in life… I don’t read many Romances now, I’m into Roman Mystery Novels, Science Fiction and at the moment I’m fighting my way through The Final Act of Mr Shakespeare by Robert Winder. (I say fighting because I haven’t had the time to actually sit and enjoy.., but one day soon )… Glad you enjoyed the poem, and hugs aplenty my friend. xPenx

      bookworm

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  10. Hallo liebe Pen ein wunderschöner Text und das Gedicht ist auch sehr schön.Schöne Erinnerungen an deine Mutter,und um so viel kleine Geheimnisse,ich lese auch sehr gerne und wenn ein Buch spannend ist da darf mich keiner stören,auch nicht der P.C.Ich wünsche dir einen schönen Tag,und eine gute glückliche Woche. Lieber gruß von mir Gislinde

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    • Hello there Gislinde, pleased you liked the poem, and pleased too that you enjoyed my sharing of a memory I have of my mother. She was such a vivid personality, who also loved to read about people and places she would never be able to visit. I suppose through books we can all experience a different life by absorbing the words on a page… My thanks for your lovely comment my friend… love to you and yours … xPenx

      bookworm

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  11. Pen, lucky you to have a mother who not only read books–but apparently still believed in the power of romantic love. Our notions of romantic love seem to have their origins in the times of the Courtly Lover when women of any social/political/economic standing were players in a marriage game that offered very little love and affection for either party. Hence the mistresses for menand courtly “lovers at a safe distance” for women. Now there’s a double standard indeed! All fine and dandy for the gents to have their “love” on the side–and yet far more dangerous for women who ventured into such deep waters. Your mother’s books, and their current incarnations, seem to me to simply be part of the evolution of the courtly love ideal which offers something more positive than the stark reality. Why is it so hard for such romances to manifest in reality? Our human natures? Or the lack of comprehension of the dynamics of human relationships?
    As for all the “new” incarnations of the family models — well– considering how hard it is to find someone of either gender with whom to form a positive mutually supportive relationship I think it’s fair play for anyone to make any form of family “work” on their terms. Problems seem to come from those so insecure about their own worth and identies that they lash out at whatever upsets THEIR notions. Too bad on them! They’re the ones truly “stuck” in the muck, imo.
    Now about those normal cataloging mindsets–that certainly raises the question of just HOW repressed and suppressed are we really? Imagine what an interesting diversity would / could manifest if people earnestly took on the quest of really be-ing themselves? Maybe we’d really find some solutions for the world’s serious issues if more minds kicked the “in the normal box” habit.
    So, am passing the Danish dish to you–saved you a prune one. But there’s cherry, cream cheese, apple and raspberry too. Take your choice.
    🙂
    Btw, so glad you visited and left your tracks here. Indeed, we were on the same wavelength — just in different places.
    Tea or coffee with your Danish? Milk? Juice?

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    • Eva, that was a fantastic reply to my memory of times past and how it made me think about our beginnings in this world. Personally I believe I’m still viewing life and using a yardstick that was passed on by my Mum and her mum before her ad infinitum… Times have changed a heck of a lot but the basis of who you are and what you believe in starts in childhood and grows from there. Outside influences have a bearing, your outlook may veer off in a slightly different direction, but as you say if only people would just be themselves and not bow down to peer pressure to think this situation or that one are ‘not acceptable’ not the ‘norm’ … it always depends on the outcome, and we won’t know that unless we have a crystal ball…
      Now, a Cherry Danish would be my choice… and a coffee too… Mm Mmm… Lovely!!… xPenx

      bookworm

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      • More coffee, Pen?
        OOO Cherry Danish with my second cup! Yum.

        I suspect what you say about those yardsticks being passed down from mother to mother applies to many people. But I for one would not like to be viewing much via my mother’s “sticks” of most sorts. Except perhaps her standards for Danish and other baked goods. As for outside influences, Victor Hugo’s Les Mes set certain thoughts simmering in my brain pan my first year of high school via a paper back purchased at a flea market for a dime. It was perhaps the best invested ten cents ever on my part. I wonder if the film has a similar effect on some people? Oh and then the difficulties of making sense of the news in the papers–before news was totally co-opted by certain forces currently managing all reigns. Mike Ryko’s sarcastic commentary on the goings in the Windy City and beyond added some strange spices to my mental stews–spices my mother certainly found unsavory–and which tended to act like dynamite on my father’s digestive track. Outside influences can make for the most surprising measuring sticks in any context.

        What shall we taste next, eh, Pen? 🙂

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  12. Much to think about here, wrapped, as usual, in a beautiful word package. Reminds me a bit of your “Normal?…” We do tend to fit ourselves within the bundle of expectations imbibed with mother’s milk. One thing about getting older is giving ourselves permission to break free. Freeing ourselves without hurting others – a balancing act of love. And I’m still searching for the perfect dress with undiminished enthusiasm.

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    • Oooo, I love to make people think my lovely friend, 🙂 , nothing better than sharing ideas on a subject and mayhap learning a new aspect/perspective never before thought on. From generation to generation the ideals, morals and social structure are forever changing, but in the end we chose how we live our lives, once free from the ties that lovingly bind…I hope that perfect dress is within reach and fits like a glove when finally attained. Hugs to you.
      xPenx

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  13. My firm belief is that humanity is at a Great Turning Point—an epic transition—from its “adolescence” to its “maturity”…

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  14. Mills and Boon was like a bible for everyone in their late teens when i was growing up.. Although i read mostly Agatha Christi and Sherlock Holmes.. Romance in the books and movies only sounded great in my teens.. Got bored of it pretty early when i realized romance in real life sucks.. 😉
    Hope you are having a great day..
    Sheena xoxo

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    • ’tis a hard lesson we learn Sheena, that a happy ending romantic story in a book is written by someone with imagination, and cannot be transposed to real life unless we’re very, very lucky. Today is better than yesterday, ’twas a visit to the dentist for two fillings with anaesthetic, I gripped the chair arm very, very tightly, and in no way was the dentist in any way a figure for romantic imaginings, in fact I just wanted him to disappear… 😉 but that would have meant going back for another visit, so I just hung on in there until “voila’ ” it was finally over… xPenx

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  15. sweet memories of youth hold tight while the present flashes before our eyes. what moves the heart and stirs the mine are those thoughts that we keep. there is nothing right or wrong about the matter. it is what life is…
    with love, Eddie

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    • true, Eddie, for without our memories we’re like new-born’s, empty pages without text, only by experiencing the sweet and bitter can we become a whole being forged on life’s anvil… many thanks for your comment my friend, much love to you… xPenxx

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  16. It’s the books, the stories, no matter what they share. They open doors, they connect us with our words like you do here, Pen. Thank you for sharing about your Mum and books and dreams and such. My Mother read. I credit her having books laying around as the reason I picked them up and read everyday. My Mother told me to remember, after she was gone, that she would be reading the book I was reading over my shoulder. That has brought me comfort to this day. LOVE this POEM!!!!!!!

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    • What a lovely thought, Leslie, a comforting thought too, that your Mother is glancing over your shoulder enjoying/joining in your reading… So true too, on how we begin our love of the written word, same applies to me, in that books were everywhere. Can’t imagine the same ‘connection’ with a plastic Kindle… but then, they have their uses in the grand scheme of things. So very pleased you enjoyed this one …. xx

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  17. Sigh…I love books..the ink and paper kinds 🙂
    I feel that in recent times, it’s not so much that marriage has become old fashion, I would dread to think that all these other forms are just a passing phase, considered cool and being “in” …I would love to think that as humans we can finally be free to be ourselves…that what society dictates as normal is being questioned. As long as a person is not permanently scared or hurt, and as long as all parties act responsibly, then one or two or even five family units is fine…as long as love and respect are there 🙂

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