Words: Haili Hughes
Model – Louise Varns
MUA – Louise Varns
Photographer – Sofie Michelle Photography
Dresses – Lindy Bop
Location – Beach House Hotel, Westover

When lying in the sunshine on vacation, there is no better way to calm frazzled nerves than reading a book. Since people have been reading for pleasure for hundreds of years, it is something vintage which can be enjoyed with little outlay or effort! What’s more, research has found that it relaxes people much more than walking, listening to music or even having a nice cup of tea! (Mindlab International at the University of Sussex) Maybe it is due to the mind having to switch off and concentrate on one thing, or muscles becoming less tense as the reader slips off into a literary world.

So, why is reading the perfect hobby? As an English teacher, it will come as no surprise that reading is a big part of my life but even if you are somebody who isn’t keen on reading, you should give it try. A good-sized book will provide you with many hours of entertainment and even allow you to see the world in a different way – through somebody else’s perspective. I remember the first time I read The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett… I found myself transported to the walled garden in the middle of the wild Yorkshire moors. The writing was so vivid that I imagined I smelt the roses entwined round the tree swing and heard the tranquil melody of Dickon’s flute on the cold Yorkshire air. For a vintage or history lover, reading is a way of transporting yourself back to another place and time and for me, is much more vivid than watching a movie or TV programme.

Delving into a good book is also an opportunity to see other people’s perspectives. It can make you think about some aspect of the world around you and make you reconsider beliefs that you have. Of course, it doesn’t need to be fiction. There is a huge range of self-help books or factual books that are not just very interesting, but also broaden our horizons, enabling us to understand issues and ideas more clearly.

What is even better is that a book can be acquired for practically nothing. Charity shops are teeming with books at really cheap prices; you can get a bag full for less than five pounds. The great thing about browsing charity shops for books is that you find hidden gems. A few years ago, I was studying for a Master’s degree and found the textbooks I needed for a tiny fraction of the cost of what they would have set me back if I bought them new. I also love to leaf through pre-owned books and find messages and items which have been used as book marks. For a history lover – like most of us vintage addicts are – it’s incredible to peek into people’s lives and imagine them enjoying the same stories.

Although Kindles are a smart option for holiday makers, as they are light and take up less space, there is nothing quite like the feeling of reading a proper book. When I go away, I just pack one larger novel then explore the markets in whatever country I am in to find a replacement if I finish. My book shelves are buckling under the weight of books I have brought abroad, so when I look at them on my shelf, it brings back lovely memories of my adventures.

To me, a book is precious: a living entity. I am convinced that the human soul is a bit like a book. The pages are all decorated with the feelings and memories we make in our lives, to be remembered and cherished by those who looked at our pages. There is no better pleasure.

Lisa Harrison
Written by Lisa Harrison
Lisa is the Deputy Editor of Vintage Life Magazine and Publisher at Dragoon Publishing. She is avid bookworm, collector of vintage homeware, loves travel, lazy weekends away and eats way too much cake!