As Sir will attest, I read – an awful lot. It dawned on me the other day that it’s a good thing I have a Kindle, as I think our little house would burst through its own drywall under the weight of the 1,258 books I have stored in my handy little electronic device, if I was to convert these to hard copy books.

Oh I will absolutely freely admit that I could quite safely say approximately 90 percent of those books are complete fluff, but hey, they keep me occupied and off the streets.

I used to marvel at how Mum would devour books from the library. Naturally being a horrible teenager at the time, I positively shuddered at the thought of reading anything I didn’t have to outside of school, as after all if it didn’t appear on the big or little screen, how boring it would all be. But now, if it wasn’t for the lack of the bottle green cardigan and restful green teacup and saucer, I could be Phyllis M. Dear herself, sitting up at the table completely oblivious to anything else going on around her.

I’ve often thought that I really should take a look at my own library of columns and so did that very thing last weekend, having a damned fine chortle and sharing some of my better particularly witty bon mots with Sir and now I’m almost seriously flirting with the idea of seeing if I can’t get a “Back of the Toot” book published.

Everyone must have a ‘back of the toot’ book after all. Settling in for a private commune with nature goes so much better if you can read a little something while otherwise occupied, and I reckon the time it would take to read a couple of my columns would perfectly match the average time one is enthroned.

I will also willingly volunteer it that the likes of Hemingway, Dickens, Shakespeare and Durrell have nothing to fear from me, not being in any way remotely up to their highbrow level of literary accomplishments, but I think I could give some authors a bit of a run for their money. After all The Back of the Toot Book can surely stand up to the likes of “Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop,” “Queer Doings at Quantham,” and “What to say when You Talk to Yourself.” And don’t even get me started on “The Long Journey of Mr. Poop” and “Sex Lives of Cannibals.”

I can just imagine a couple of the chapter headings even as I speak. Naturally “Sir, Friends & Family” would be one, and “Political Correctness and other Bureaucratic Nonsense” would have to be included and with, I would say at a rough guess, almost a thousand articles under my belt I could whip up a pretty impressive Tome for the Toidies.

So do wish me luck dear reader, as I wade my way down memory lane through the last seventeen and a half years.

It, for the most part, has been a hoot.

Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at