They are Just Books

Time for bed… just wondered if there was anything to blog about.

I seem to have recovered my creative spark (touch wood) and have been making more desktop wallpapers… few of which ever get posted! I always find a reason to hold back, and I made three versions of the same one today. Haven’t decided which I like best, yet.

Green Photoshop design with a jewel in the middle.

Have finished reading Snobs by Julian Fellowes, which I enjoyed. Before that, I read Watching the English by Kate Fox, which was also enjoyable. Part of the reason I wanted to read it is that sometimes I wonder how British I am! There are things that have thrown me about other Brits (or folk in general?), and I wondered if the book would help. I recognized myself in some of the descriptions, but not others… (the pub culture, for instance. Any kind of pronounced drinking has always seemed to me bizarre, whether of tea, coffee or beer… but Kate Fox offers an explanation for it).

Both of those books have something in common — a wry look at the English class system.

Because of all the recent faffing about out-of-date browsers, I had to switch my blogging from my small old Mac to my big new one. I didn’t want to, but I suppose it will be easier to post pictures to my blog… this is my picture-making machine.

I have been buying our Patrick O’Brian novels all over again… we invited a bookseller to our house to look through our books, and he took a lot that weren’t actually for sale. I’m still upset about the strangest books… like my small collection of Asterix comics, including one in French. (‘Ils sont fous, ces Romains!’) I bought most of them as a student, as a kind of ‘end of the day’ treat; a break from studying.

My mother said she misses books too… she had some in her possession longer than she’s had me! Her mother lent out a book she bought with her pocket money when she was a girl… Scottish Chiefs by Janet Porter. All these years later, and she’s still upset that it was never given back.

I guess I knew that books were important to us; worlds such as The Wind in the Willows are almost homes on their own… and you get used to having those particular books sitting there, lining the walls like bulwarks against the world. I still have my Wind in the Willows paperback copy. Printed 1973, quite battered, and with my name written inside along with ‘Primary 7’! But I feel that it’s MY copy, and not a replacement bought recently. This is the very copy that made me cry when Moley sensed his home nearby.

Still, it was a shock that I felt so strongly about losing the other books… you think “did they really matter so much to me?” Simply replacing them (possible in some cases) isn’t enough… you want your original ones back, like my grandfather’s copy of poems by George Mackay Brown. (I got my other GMBs back, but he had already sold that one after having it for just one day).

You would imagine this would label me as a die-hard ‘printed book’ reader, someone who would never use an eBook reader. It has had the opposite effect, though… the thought of having books that can’t be passed from my possession to someone else’s is suddenly very attractive. I can see an e-reader lurking in my very near future.

They are just books… so I tell myself! But I’m tightening my defences.

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10 responses

  1. I understand how you feel about the books. Every book is an experience, and I’m sure it hurts to have your memories disturbed in that way.

    I think you should post all of your artwork. I think you’re more talented than you realize. 🙂

    1. Thank you, and you have nailed it… the bookselling incident spoiled some of these memories to a degree. It reminds of a decluttering book that says we shouldn’t keep objects that remind us of something that went wrong, but sometimes you remember even if you read the newspaper and watch the TV. I’m not sure that keeping the object itself (or a replacement) makes much difference, but I suppose it depends…

      I’m waffling, aren’t I?!

  2. its weird some books I can remember really clearly. I can remember buying Asimov’s Foundation Books very clearly (and that was a long time ago!!)

    I’ve rebought a few Asimovs for my Kindle 😀

    1. I’ve been realizing the Kindle is a kind of addition to the book collection, and it seems natural to want the books you like best on the Kindle as well as on your shelves, especially if you go away from home a lot. I’m not sure that the publishers have twigged to that yet… that they could sell a book twice, especially if they offer fairer prices for the Kindle versions.

  3. Hellooo. I’m back to reading in a sort of frenzy. Got away from it for a while, and now seem to have a need to make up for lost time. And I actually put a Kindle on my Christmas list, but my family got me a digital camera instead. What a wonderful world it has opened up to me. I’ll probably put the Kindle back on the list this year as well. Hope is always present.

    I love the emerald and agree that you should put up much more of your images and for the same reasons. I’ve been having an awful lot of fun with mine.

    Elizabeth

    1. Hellooo too. 🙂 I went through a non-reading spell (probably when I was doing a lot of web graphics and forum-chatting at my old house) but now I feel hungry for all the books I haven’t read yet. I hope you are enjoying the digital camera; it’s a most useful thing. The Kindle reader could be more useful than it is at the moment… plenty of gaps in the book list, and they don’t cost fair prices, but maybe things will improve. I would like to try one anyway. 🙂

  4. Yeah, you can look at my books. I’ll just be here, peering over your shoulder.

    No, that one doesn’t go there.

    1. I’m afraid so… maybe I should ask Getafix for a little of his magic potion too.

  5. I agree about putting more of your artwork up – I’m in awe of your talent. I’m not interested in getting an e-book reader – they’re somehow too clinical. I like the books I have on my shelf – old battered books from childhood, books given to me by my father, the feel, the smell and the portability (without the need for some source of energy other than my arm muscles). I have a 19th century children’s book which belonged to my grandmother. Having a copy of a book on an ebook reader which may have belonged to a family member isn’t quite the same.

    1. You’re right, though I realized having a physical replacement for an older copy that used to be yours isn’t the same either. I bought a battered ‘Asterix and the Gauls’ from Barnardo’s… my Asterix books were older, but in much better condition and better printed! I take care of my books, so it really vexes me to think of some current day student dog-earing them or using them as coasters. Gah.

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