I read the most delightful piece here today.
But books in any form have always been a huge part of my life. As a child, my family would sit around the dinner table, each person with their own book, calmly reading and eating at the same time...
I would love to have grown up in that household. What joy! I know that most people view meals as lovely social occasions; as opportunities for sparkling conversation and bonhomie, but it is my favorite thing to sit and read and eat all by myself.
I read the following in a Peter Mayle book once, and it greatly appealed to me.
Facing the entrance were two gentlemen sitting side-by-side, but eating alone; each at his table for one. This is a civilized arrangement I rarely see outside of France, and I wonder why. Perhaps other nationalities feel more strongly the primitive social urge to eat in small herds. Or it may be ... that a Frenchman is more interested in good cooking than in bad conversation, and takes every chance he can to enjoy a solitary meal.
I do like to sit and really appreciate my food. In A String in the Harp, I just read of a loving Welsh family having a meal together:
and for a while all conversation stopped as everyone attended to eating.
That's just about perfect for me. Sitting down with people I enjoy, reading, and eating something delicious, and then having a lovely conversation (perhaps about our books!) while sitting around the table for hours.