When an unpleasant task must be performed, or an unpleasant journey must be undertaken my thoughts turn to retail therapy. This seems to be a trait common to many members of my benighted generation.
Unlike, I suspect, many members of my benighted generation, my idea of really good, truly satisfying and utterly enriching retail therapy occurs only when I’m on my knees (careful…) sifting through piles of books in op-shops. Continue reading
Posted in Bibliophilia
Tagged Bibliophilia, Christopher Silvester, Fred Hoyle, George Orwell, Isobelle Carmody, John Mortimer, John Stuart Mill, Kevin Gilbert, Morris Gleitzman, Op-Shops, Oswald Schwarz, Pamela Bone, Pliny the Elder, Pliny the Younger, Poetry, Retail Therapy, Wilfred Owen
The quickest way to turn anyone off reading books is presenting them with a long and unsolicited ‘must read’ list. And the quickest way to make yourself look like a prize prat is putting a ‘must read’ list in the hands of an avid reader. Because the avid reader will judge you on the basis of your list.
I’m an avid reader. In fact, I’m an addict. I’m essentially a peace-loving soul, but try to take away from me a book that I’m engrossed in… well, angels and ministers of grace defend you, is all I can say. Because I won’t be defending you. I’ll be doing my best to tear out your spine. Continue reading
Posted in Bibliophilia, Overrated Books
Tagged 501 Must Read Books, Albert Camus, Bibliophilia, Edward Gibbon, Emma Beare, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Jane Austen, Moby Dick, Must Read, Terry Pratchett
‘Are you going to blog on Kindle or iPad?’ a friend asked me yesterday.
‘Don’t think so,’ I responded, ‘I can’t really, I’ve never even seen one, let alone used one. I wouldn’t have much to say.’
‘That’s never stopped you from starting an argument about something before,’ he replied with full conviction and (painful though it is to admit it) full justice.
‘Hmmm…’ I thought.
But what to write? I mean, my basic perspective is that no e-book reader will ever replace (or even be able to compete with) books. But there are some problems with that. Continue reading
I buy books on a pretty regular basis (a conservative average would be the purchase of about four a week), but great additions to my library don’t come along very often, and when they do they tend to follow a particular pattern.
A really great addition can’t be a book I’ve heard about, read about or otherwise know by reputation; it cannot be new (for preference, it should be out of print) and it must absolutely thrill me to my deepest and moistest core when I read it. A slightly anally-retentive set of strictures, I’m prepared to admit. But let me explain. Continue reading