- the odd hexipuff
- the odd hexipuff
That's 37p per mm.
Incidentally, the winning of a Booker seems to add a premium: "Hotel du Lac" costs a whole £1 more than the others.
Elderly hens ahve not been laying this winter.
Also, this had me laughing out loud. For reals ;-)
"... at this moment Aunt Hester returned.
"Timothy," she said in a low voice, "Timothy has bought a map, and he's put in—he's put in three flags."
Timothy had ….! A sigh went round the company.
If Timothy had indeed put in three flags already, well!—it showed what the nation could do when it was roused. The war was as good as over."
So, is there any reason to have on my shelves, pretty much untouched since 1988, a complete Chaucer in paperback, Oxford T&C, Penguin T&C, several standalone volumes of different Canterbury Tales?
(Note, I possess a facsimile Kelmskott Chaucer for the pretty and would only now want to re-reread on an electronic device: bigger text on tap and lighter on the wrists.)
The weekend, apart from forays to Looby Loo's music class and a pleasant lunch at Efe's, was rather dominated by adaptations of 19th-century novels. I'd missed the beginning of the rebroadcast of the 1990s BBC Pride and Prejudice space (when are they going to do the proper one from the 1980s? Colin Firth is not my idea of Darcy), but enjoyed watching most of the last three episodes. Looby Loo was captivated, so I may have to acquire the relevant DVDs (yet again, she shown just how girly she is). I guess she'll have to watch the repeat of Jane Eyre too. I don't think it will be any more frightening than Doctor Who. I suppose if she can enjoy having Sherlock Holmes stories read to her, Jane Eyre wouldn't be too difficult either. (I think I'd heard it on the radio before I read the novel myself when I was ten or so.) Of course, as with Jane Austen's works, I don't actually own a copy. I read those books when I could still borrow the copies from my parents' bookshelves (300 mile long arms I do not have). Having watched the programme on romantic novels on BBC four, I'm rather tempted by the "revamped" covers on offer for the Jane Austen novels. I assume that a similar reissue of Jane Eyre. (I'm impressed today by the Dragon's ability to cope with book titles and authors names with almost no intervention. I really don't need to type very much these days.)
It's an entire book of aerial photographs of fields in Switzerland and France for the most part, including pasture and greenhouses and even saltworks. They've all been very carefully shot to line up with the rectangle of the page which enhances their geometry. Some are quite bizarre. For example, a bare field littered with the hoops and poles for a planned poly-tunnel looks like the result of serious digging on the part of some mad palaeontologist, a litter of huge bones against the bare earth. Another poly-tunnel example has the arches erected, but almost invisible; the shadows instead resemble an arrangement of fish-hooks.
There are pictures of success -- harvest and the gathering in of crops -- and failure too -- frost-damaged brassicas, failing wormwood. Yes, wormwood. I'd never really thought about how field of wormwood might look. No green fairies inside.
I dumped the book in front of Looby Loo this evening and suggested she might find it interesting. Her immediate rejection of the notion (it is after all mandatory to say no to anything. Parent suggests) was instantaneously transformed into a gasp of delight as she opened a page at random.
I'd never have imagined that fields could be quite that interesting and beautiful.
As are my shoulders.
With the addition of some of Looby Loo's, plus many of mine that I've passed on, we've scooted up placewise from the high 380s to having the 274th biggest library.
Now, ain't that such a childish thing to care about.
Oh, and I've more of her books, plus the rest of the books in the front bedroom, plus the one's I'll be acquiring second hand in the autumn which might take me into the dizzying heights of the top 200. (We have 2000 plus books, but the plus ain't that big.))
Prompted by lark_ascending's comment about their love at first sight (if that's the way to put it?) experience with some books, I was beginning to muse about my methods of finding new authors, when not following other folk's recommendations or reviews: my browsing methods. These were, I'd always thought, pretty unexceptional. All the same, when I've mentioned them to folk they've not been unanimously in agreement. In fact, some quirks were deemed to be actually morally reprehensible methods of selecting books (and probably other things in life, tho' my strategies vary according to what I'm seeking).
So here, to my shame, are some confessions of bad book buying and book owning habits (in no particular order, although alphabetical would probably be virtuous):
- I read the last page in the book shop. Always.
I honestly can't think of a better way of choosing a book about which I otherwise know nothing. If I don't want to get to that last page, why bother starting?
- I read the first page with my proof reading eyes in. Always.
If I find a typo, I put the book back on the shelf. This applies equally to authors I don't know--Alastair Reynold's Revelation Space I rejected several times because of the misuse of the word "crescendo" on one of its opening pages--and to old friends--there's a Brian Stableford (don't know which one, can't check, see mood below) I didn't buy for ages, despite my love of his writing, because there was some horrid misspelling or substitution on the first page.
- If it's got a thick, black spine I'm almost always sold.
Well, it's probably why I gave in on Revelation Space (which I eventually acquired and enjoyed). It's also my excuse for *whispers* Stephen Donaldson. One of them. I've made many over the years. I am unrepentant.
And yes, for several years, I shelved all the black-spined books separately, above the head of my bed. (Now I just display the Folio Society volumes more prominently than the random books of humour folk have gifted and I can't quite persuade us to get rid of).
- I can't get rid of, even unwanted, books. Ever.
Some things smack too much of sacrilege. Period.
- I overbuy books.
The result of which is the unread piles. These fester against a party wall so they don't even pass for extra insulation.
That's me done. In the spirit of mutual filthy(-ish) confession, what bad book buying/book owning habits do other folk have--and are willing to own up to?
I've often wondered how one finds favourite authors, how they leap out still unread from the mass of other writers we pass by, whether on bookshelves at home, or in libraries or bookshops. It's all the more intriguing watching the process going on for someone else.
I'm in the middle of cataloguing, sorting and shelving the books as they come back from the cellars of Cherry Hinton and this entails piles of dusty tomes lying around the place. Accidentally, during the process of moving out of the way of builders and then out of the house during reflooring and decorating, odd volumes popped up in strange places. I'll never quite know how In Viriconium ended up on Looby Loo's desk (nor how I found it in the clutter of Hama and dissected sheets of paper and Skoobidoos that breed there). Amongst the various piles of unpacked an LT-ed paperbacks this afternoon, I built a small footing of M John Harrisons. Looby Loo picked up the top one--A Strom of Wings--and said "I love it" in that I will brook no argument: this is how the world is and ever shall be tone of voice that would have me doubled-up with laughter except she'd be hurt. Somehow, out of all the piles and heaps and crates, these are the books she's choosing. Perhaps I should leave a copy of Light lying around prominently: she might finish it.
So, before adding it to the pile of books to read to her, I'd better check A Storm of Wings is suitable. There's no hurry: I got her hooked on the Clive Merrison starring Sherlock Holmes adventuress on BBC7 over half term, so we're reading those first.
But, why? How? Will the attraction survive the encounter with the texts within?
This would seem to mark an end to a brief, tho' chunkily fed, fiction binge, but for the fictions in the grammatical treatise.
The shade of sadness we call the blues can take a singular or plural verb, since anyone who has them can't be bothered to look it up, or to be consistent about whether it is--or they are--in pieces or in a solid hopeless mass."Agreements", from The Deluxe Transitive Vampire, Karen Elizabeth Gordon
Coming into a clearing in the forest that did not appear on the map, they tilted their puzzled heads heavenward to discover a corresponding tear in the sky."Phrases", op. cit.
The rowan berries (tho' the way the joints are feeling today, it could be me too) have started to dry out to the extent that the length of the strand is now a good inch less than it was. The berries are becoming a wrinkly, but deep red as opposed to the vivid near orange.
We've finished reading An Enemy at Greene Knowe so maybe we won't need the charms and protections. I'm amazed Looby Loo hasn't been scared by it: there's a real sense of house and garden under siege from a malign outsider that made me quite uneasy reading it to her, despite the consistent pleasure in reading aloud such evocative, poetic writing (probably considered old-fashioned and over written for children now). We've only The Stones to go and that's the whole not quite a series in the usual sense finished. Unless we do the usual and start at the beginning again straight away.