Shelfie Feature – Estelle Sinkins

In this morning’s ‘Shelfie Feature’, we catch up with Estelle Sinkins – editor of Howick’s local newspaper, Village Talk. Here is what she shared with us…
Hello! My name is Estelle Sinkins and I am an addict … a book addict. I simply cannot resist reading books, buying books and gazing at those in my many, many shelves.
It’s not really surprising since I firmly believe that books have the ability to delight, make you think and help you learn. They are as Stephen King says ‘uniquely portable magic’.
It’s a magic I can enjoy both at home and at work as I am lucky enough to be the Books Editor of The Witness.
I have been a book dragon – not a worm – for longer than I can remember.
My mom was a librarian and she began reading to me when I was a wee babe in arms and signed me up to my home town library when I was just 18 months old … much to the consternation of the staff who argued that I was too young to choose books.
Growing up, I read everything from Dr Seuss to Nancy Drew mystery novels, Little Women to Wuthering Heights.
The Hobbit, which I’m holding here, came into my life when I was 10. Our teacher was reading it to us in class but I didn’t have the patience to wait for weekly instalments.
I told my mum about this amazing book and that I needed to get a copy. She smiled and told me she had one in the bookshelf.
I devoured the book in a few days, loving its tale of elves, dwarves, giant spiders, trolls, orcs, goblins, a dragon and hobbits.
I wanted to read more of JRR Tolkien’s books but mum made me wait for two more years before letting me take on The Lord of the Rings.
Both books have been permanent residents on my bookshelf ever since.
They rub shoulders with my Agatha Christie novels, the works of the Bronte sisters and Jane Austen, my beloved Georgette Heyer books and childhood treats, like Winnie-The-Pooh and the works of Roald Dahl.
As Books Editor, I am in the privileged position of meeting and speaking to authors, and of reading books by writers I love and discovering the work of new ones.
Last year I read the quirky and original debut novel of Durban author, Sven Axelrad. Buried Treasure doesn’t fit into a genre box. Instead it is poetic, a bit magical, a bit of a thriller and downright hilarious in parts. It forced me out of my reading comfort zone – and I’m a better person for it.
I’ve just finished another debut work, The Marshmallow Theory by Mandy Hoddinott, which is a very different kind of romantic novel, weaving together a tale of the effects of delayed gratification on a couple’s relationships, with the kind of sage advice normally found in books which help people build better business and personal relationship books. Definitely one of a kind.
I’m not sure what my next read will be, as I have a rather large ‘To Be Read (TBR)’ books currently awaiting my attention. A daunting and delightful prospect!
Top of the pile are a couple of mysteries that need solving, a historical novel set in KZN and a memoir. Just hope I don’t get distracted by more new books…
The Witness publishes a books page every Monday. I may be a little biased, but I think our reviews, interviews and other book-related stories are the best.
If you’re looking for ideas of what new books to read, you should definitely check it out.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I can hear my books calling…

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