Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Reading The Archers

For Christmas 2003, my husband got me some strange software that enabled you to listen to radio stations over the Internet, and I could even transfer podcasts to my Sony minidisc player -- a piece of technology that rocked, but, like Sony likes to do, used strange proprietary memory discs and was no longer support post-Windows 98.

Anyway, one of the first things I started listening to was BBC Radio's The Archers -- so often a punchline in Aga sagas, but I quickly became immersed in the lives and loves of Ambridge, as listeners have for decades.

I only discovered Joanna Toye's series of books, commemorating the Archers 50th, recently: Family Ties (1951-1967), Looking for Love (1968-1986), and Back to the Land (1987-1999). I read the three volumes backwards, and it did flesh out some bits of the backstory I'd wondered about. One of my favorite parts? My large print edition of Back to the Land was withdrawn from Harrow Library's Housebound Services. Yes, I am an old woman.

And then I discovered the existence of two stand-alone volumes, which of course I wanted to read as well. When I got Jennifer's Diary, I thought it had the worst cover ever:

 It was only after reading for an hour that I realized, if you look more closely, you can see the mock leather cover.

 Very diary-ish. I LOVE The Archers.

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