Early one autumn afternoon in pursuit of an elusive book on her shelves, Susan Hill encountered dozens of others that she had never read, or forgotten she owned, or wanted to read for a second time. The discovery inspired her to embark on a year-long voyage through her books, forsaking new purchases in order to get to know her own collection again.
A book which is left on a shelf for a decade is a dead thing, but it is also a chrysalis, packed with the potential to burst into new life. Wandering through her house that day, Hill’s eyes were opened to how much of that life was stored in her home, neglected for years. Howard’s End is on the Landing charts the journey of one of the nation’s most accomplished authors as she revisits the conversations, libraries and bookshelves of the past that have informed a lifetime of reading and writing.
Howards End is on the Landing is a charming book which invites you to visit Susan Hill’s personal library along with hearing some of her fascinating memories from the world of literature.
It is really a celebration about the love of good storytelling and it is one that I personally found interesting. I, myself, know that I have encountered a good book if I hold some strong memory that I associate with the experience of reading it for the first, second, third, etc, time. I think that literature has the power to do that and I think that the association between book and memory is one that Susan Hill is trying to impart on the reader.
I won’t lie, sometimes that stories did get a bit lost and slow; they weren’t all equally enjoyable but the overall love of literature jumps off the page. One thing is for certain, I would love to have a really good mooch among Susan Hill’s bookshelves.
Howards End is on the Landing by Susan Hill is available now.