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Introducing ‘BookBirds’ Podcast with Ciara Geraghty

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Ciara Geraghty

Ciara Geraghty

I started listening to podcasts when I gave up drinking, three years ago. In those early days, I was terrified of the hours. All the endless hours that stretched before me from the moment I woke up – much earlier than I used to – to the moment I went to bed. What was I supposed to do with all the hours? And why were there so many of them? And how had I never noticed this abundance of time before? It turns out that drinking takes up an enormous amount of time. Vast tracts of it could go by and I wouldn’t look at the clock once. Now I had nothing but time and a desperate urge to fill it to bursting so I wouldn’t fill it with drinking.

Along came podcasts. They were already there but I hadn’t given them much more than a passing glance. Now, I had time. I scrolled through hundreds of them. That took time. Choosing one. Choosing another. That took more time. Locating my earphones. When you live in a house with teenagers and a dog, earphones are fair game and if you leave them draped along the back of the couch or dangling off the kitchen counter, you’ve only yourself to blame. Then listening. That took time. Sometimes an hour. Sometimes longer than that. Not every podcast I listened to was quite what I was looking for but to reach that conclusion you had to scroll through them, you had to choose, you had to listen. And all of that took time.

It seems to me now, looking back, that I spent that first winter in the bath, listening to podcasts. My father died that Christmas and I thought I’d never get through his funeral without pouring myself a drink. Instead, I poured myself a bath and listened to a podcast.

Giving up drinking was a leap of faith for me. Leap and the net will appear. That’s what all the books said. The tomes of ‘quit-lit’ I read by the bucket-full that first year. I wasn’t sure about that. I leaped anyway. It was the only way. It was time.

Three years later, I no longer feel like time is something I have to wrestle into a more manageable size. It turns out, I have the same amount of hours in my day as normal people do. And they fill up just fine, in much the same way as they fill up for everyone else; picking coats and shoes up off the stairs, working, on hold at Eir, looking for my earphones, walking the dog, trying to commandeer the TV remote on a Saturday night before Match of the Day starts. The usual.  I no longer feel paralysed with fear, thinking about the hours.  All the hours. In fact, sometimes it seems like there’re not enough of them. I was surprised at that. And pleased. The net swayed beneath my weight but it held.

Then, lockdown happened in March. And here we are again, a week into the second one. The world has changed so dramatically in such a short space of time, it’s taken all of our breaths away. I found myself doing a lot of re-reading. Books I’d read years before but couldn’t forgot. Characters I fell in love with and never quite got over. Stories that wove themselves in and around my heart and seemed like real live events that happened to people I know. I read those stories again. The comfort they gave me. Like an ancient dress that you know you should throw out but you try it on one more more, for old time’s sake. The material is so soft and so forgiving and so familiar with the tilt and sway of your body that in the end, you fold it carefully and put it back inside the wardrobe.

So I suppose you could say that BookBirds – the podcast I set up with my friend and fellow writer, Caroline Grace Cassidy – was born of the pandemic. The brainchild of Covid-19 and its on-again-off-again partner, Lockdown. A podcast about books. But not just any old books. Books that we adored, back in the day. Books that changed us, in some small but fundamental way. Books we never forgot. The ones we read slow because we didn’t want them to end. These are the books myself and Caroline will be talking about on the podcast. The first episode is out now and features Patricia Scanlon’s much loved debut novel, City Girl, a book that was re-published this year to celebrate its 30th anniversary.

Way to make a woman feel old, Patricia.

But this woman doesn’t feel old, oddly. Three years on and with not enough hours in the day to do everything she wants to do, she feels pretty brand new. And in the middle of all the doom and pandemic-riddled gloom, that feels like something to celebrate, albeit in a socially-distant, mask-wearing, hand-washy kind of a way.

(c) Ciara Geraghty

Subscribe to BookBirds available on Acast, Spotify and iTunes.

BookBirds artwork by Becca Kelly

About Rules of the Road by Ciara Geraghty:

The simple fact of the matter is that Iris loves life. Maybe she’s forgotten that. Sometimes that happens, doesn’t it? To the best of us? All I have to do is remind her of that one simple fact.

Monday morning starts like any other – until Terry discovers her best friend Iris has gone missing. Finding her takes Terry, Iris and Terry’s confused father Eugene, into an extraordinary journey – one that will change all of their lives. And, along the way, what should be the worst six days of Terry’s life turn into the best.

Because friendship teaches us all to be brave. And, sometimes, the rules are made to be broken.

Order your copy online here.

About the author

Ciara Geraghty is an Irish bestselling author. She lives in Dublin with her family.

You can find out more at www.ciarageraghty.com, visit her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/CiaraGeraghtyBooks, or follow her on Twitter @ciarageraghty.

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