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You might have thought Nigella Lawson’s main passion in life was cooking, but it seems books come high up on her list of priorities.
The TV star, 59, has revealed that she tries to get six hours’ a day reading time on the weekend - and feels “twitchy” if she doesn’t.
She also admitted, in a piece for The Sunday Times’ Style, that she likewise gets “antsy” if she isn’t in bed with a book by 7.30pm on weekdays.
“If I’m not suitably banked by books, I start twitching. The thing is, I am a binge reader,” the food writer explained in the article, which sees her recommend her favourite literary purchases for this Christmas.
READ MORE: Nigella Lawson reveals the 'magic' £20 oil she uses on her face, hair and hands
Nigella - who has herself penned a number of best-selling cook books - continued: “Now that my children are grown-up, I regard the weekends as reading days: if I get anything less than six hours’ reading time a day, I feel it’s a waste of a weekend.
“And if I don’t have two early nights (and by early I mean I’m already prone by 7.30) with a book during the week, I get antsy, too.”
The cooking show host revealed that she does a lot of reading in the “quiet hours” when she can’t sleep.
She added: “A therapist friend of mine once said I read as a form of self-medication.
“That’s fine by me: it works, and there are no unwanted side effects.”
Nigella’s favourite books of 2019 include Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodener Akner, She Said by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey and The Dutch House by Ann Patchett.
Additionally, she suggested stocking up on Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez, Idaho by Emily Ruskovich, Frankissstein by Jeanette Winterson and The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead.
If you want to give a cookbook as a festive present, her recommendation is From the Oven to the Table by Diana Henry.
Nigella recently revealed the “magic” oil she uses on her hair, face and hands.
“It’s an unprepossessing little bottle, but what it contains is face-saving magic,” the star wrote.
“Put it on at night and you’ll wake up looking as if you’ve been to a spa by the sea, slept 10 hours a night and been off Twitter for a month.”
Nigella added: “It’s not just that it moisturises: it seems to heal my skin and make it so much more elastic.”