Market Garden Reader

Introducing Market Garden Reader, a book blog by a British expat in the Netherlands.

Who? What? Why? Where? When?

Probably my oldest obsession is reading. For as long as I can remember I’ve been a reader of anything and everything. And if I have to wait somewhere, I have to have a book with me because the idea of having nothing to read fills me with dread. Or, to be honest, boredom.

Usually I can remember what I’ve read. At least, I can recognise a titel I’ve read and most of the time, I can tell you if I’ve read something by a particular author. Don’t ask me to tell you the names of the characters, though, nor what happened. My memory doesn’t extend to that. Probably because I start a second book as soon as I finish the first one, my memories can be pretty hazy. So I need a way to remind myself of characters and plot and interesting thoughts that occur to me whilst reading. So what better way to record all this than by starting a book blog?


Fortunately for me, I was never forced to write book reviews at school. Long essays with titles beginning ‘Compare and contrast the characters of…’, yes, but no book reviews. My first brush with the idea came when I joined BookCrossing, where members share books at meetings, by post and by leaving them in more or less random places as well as other shenanigans. If you are going to be passing on a book, it’s fun to  write a short review so the previous reader and the next reader can find out your opinion. Especially if you leave it for random strangers to find. Books can live lives of their own. I plan to write about that.


Next up, I joined Goodreads. It’s a great place to review your books or find other people’s opinions on books you’ve read or want to read. It’s possible to use it as a bookish social network, too, and you can follow friends old and new online if they post what they’re reading. You get to know friends’ taste and know if someone with a similar taste is enthusiastic, that’s a book you might like too. Especially if several friends love it. Great for recommendations and the perfect place to post reviews online.

Market Garden Reader is born!

The only problem is, my thoughts about books don’t confine themselves to the one I’ve just read. One book will spark off thoughts about another. For a while now, I’ve been thinking that I would like to start a book blog where I can keep more general information about books. Musings. Ideas. Connections. Links. When I’ve read two books in a row and see a strange and unexpected connection. Or I find an amazing quotation. Or I see something online that I want to save for future reference. What better place to keep it than a blog?

I’m still toying with the format and the design, so if it looks a bit odd or the same photo is included 3 times, upside down with a caption in Double Dutch, I apologise and will attempt to wrangle it into shape eventually.

This is my second blog. The first one, Integrated Expat,  is supposed to be about being a British expat living in the Netherlands, with background information for other expats and tales of living in another coutnry. Sometimes that’s just what it is, but often I get odd enthusiasms about some subject or another and want to write about it. So the subject matter is pretty random, but more often than not I manage to find a Dutch or expat angle. I expect to do the same here.

Why Market Garden Reader?

Why I have I decided to call myself Market Garden Reader. Well, there are several reasons:

  • The reader part I’ve already explained
  • I’m not just a reader, I’m a gardener, growing vegetables, fruit and flowers organically
  • I grew up in Kent, the Garden of England, in fact the market garden of England
  • I live in the part of the Netherlands where Operation Market took place in the Second World War

Welcome along for the ride. Now to write some reviews and bookish musings!