Monday, May 11, 2009

Books, Birds, Death and Lulu. Yep, it's insomnia time again!

It's 4.20 and I've been awake for a while. Damn. Unfortunately, something woke me and my brain has gone to into wakey, wakey mode. So I might as well do a quick post! Here's a book meme I picked up from Marie's new book blog called ShoreBookWoman. I know many of you read lots so anyone who wants to take up this tag then please feel free to do so.

Oh, I've just heard a bird sing. The dawn chorus is beginning; such a beautiful sound. I've always thought it would be lovely to die listening to the music of nature. But hey, with my driving skills and frequent bad luck I'll probably peg it to the sound a freight lorry crushing me. Still it's gotta be better than the sound of Cliff Richard. Or The Shadows. Or Max Bygraves. Or maybe even Lulu singing Shout. That would be just my luck - just as I'm taking my last breath Lulu comes on the radio singing;


What drugs do you think Lulu takes? I mean she's about sixty now and she still looks fantastic. Boy, it's so unfair. Especially as 4am in the morning. And her ex hubby is a hairdresser, so she always has perfect hair too. Huh. How does that work? A BeeGee, David Bowie, John Frieda... who next? Pierce? Damn, I'm sooo jealous.

Anyway, back to the meme...

1. To mark your page do you: use a bookmark, bend the page corner, leave the book open face down?

I never bend the corners of pages -it's sacrilege! Well maybe occasionally... when the page really needs marking; you know just for those odd few occasions when a particular passage requires reading two or three times cos it's really, really hot. Yeah, you know the passages I mean. Yeah, those ones. The ones that get us ladies all steamed up, big time. Yep that's those passages describing the delicious, mouth watering, sensual experiences. I mean those recipes for Jam Roly Poly and Sticky Toffee Pudding of course. Boy, I just love all that stickiness. Mmmmm......

Sometimes I do use a book mark but it never seems to work that successfully. I've actually got a lovely silver book mark in the shape of an owl that clips over the pages but come to think of it I haven't seen it for yonks. It's probably stuck on that page for Jam Roly Poly... which of course I haven't looked at for ages. ....Cos the last time I made it I got carried away and made custard as well. Mmmm...creamy.

Anyhow, most of the time I can never find one of the many free bookmarks I acquire so I end up using an old envelope or receipt. Invariably the envelopes or bits of papers fall out so if I'm reading on my travels I just try to memorize the page number. If I'm at home I usually lie the book open face down and hope that no one picks it up. They usually do though, unless it's on the floor by my bed which is about my only safe haven from prying eyes. (One must be careful with recipe books you know.)

2. Do you lend your books?

Yes. But I'm particular to whom I lend books too. Cos I like them back. Someone I know has had some books of mine for about 10 years which were only loaned not given - I'm absolutely sure about that cos Mrs T does not part with books lightly. Hmm... a dilemma. I think after 10 years maybe I should accept they're not going to come back. It must have been a misunderstanding. Well I hope so. Cos otherwise, I'm burning their house down.

3. You find an interesting passage: do you write in your book or not?

Absolutely not! I make notes. I hate it if I borrow a book from the library and someone has written their notes in it - not only does it really rile me that they have written on something that does not belong to them but that they haven't even attempted to rub it out. The only exception to this is "recipe" books of course because I'm always interested in another person's take on jam roly polys. Sometimes I even draw pictures. It helps with the visualization. (Cough, cough)

(And if you haven't got what I'm talking about by now please put a brown paper bag over your head and end it now.)

The only books I have ever written in are the text books I used for my Open University maths course which I had purchased.)It was a calculated decision - I decided it would be easier than note taking and that that there was a 100% chance I would never look at them again. I was correct! I've since given them away to a friend who is a maths teacher in case they prove useful. I wasn't even particularly happy about giving them away with some highlighter marks in them but on balance I thought that was probably being a bit too over anxious.

4. Dust jackets - leave it on or take it off?

Well of course I leave them on. I've paid good money for them I want to keep them! Besides I like all that glossy shiny paper - it reminds of when my hair used to look that way.

5. Hard cover, paperback, skip it and get the audio book?

Paperbacks mainly due to cost but I also find the extra size of hardbacks cumbersome. However, it does depend on what type of book it is. Some reference books are only available in hardback anyway so I've a lot of those. I also buy quite a number of books from local charity shops in hardback and paperback. The nearby town has a number of such shops where I can easily spend an hour or two browsing for new or interesting reading. So for a few pounds for a good cause I get the pleasure of some new reading matter and I don't have to worry about getting the books back to the library on time. Hoorah!

I'm not into audio books at all; I'd rather hear the voices in my head and put my own interpretation on things.

6. Do you shelve your books by subject, author, or size and color of the book spines?

I've tried various methods over the years but the one that works the best is size, followed by category, then author. However if you remember what my desk looks like please take everything I write with a pinch of salt. (Only 4 cups at the moment - yippee!)

7. Buy it or borrow it from the library later?

I usually buy my books unles it's a very specialist book or very expensive. Most of the time I buy my books from because all the postage is free but I also buy a lot from Amazon. Occasionally I buy from the local independent bookstore which I prefer to support rather than the big chains. I don't use the library much these days, mainly because I have a problem with remembering to return the books and racking up big fines as a result -I'm pathetically disorganized. It's annoying; I used to be so efficient when I had a proper job now I'm just a walking disaster area.

8. Do you put your name on your books - scribble your name in the cover, fancy bookplate, or stamp?

No I rarely put any mark in a book. Although some of my university history books have my name in merely because there was the possibility of misplacing them.

9. Most of the books you own are rare and out of print books or recent publications?

I don't have any rare books. Well not that I'm aware of anyway. I have a few old books dating back to the early 1900s but nothing with antique value of possibly more than a few pounds at most. I have plenty of other books from the 1950's onwards but I have them because I've either read them and enjoyed them, they have sentimental value to me or because they represent some part of my past. Many of books represent my history, a stage in my life and therefore to discard them would be like throwing away a part of me. They are more then just material possessions. When I am dead they will have very little meaning to anyone but I hope that just one or two will remain in the hands of my children and it might cross their minds why I held onto those books for so long.

10. Page edges - deckled or straight?

Straight I think.

11. How many books do you read at one time?

I'm really a one book woman. Sometimes I do have more than one book on the go - but really that says more about the quality of the book. If a book is truly good I will read it through in a very short space of time. Sometimes in one day or night if circumstances allow.

12. Be honest, ever tear a page from a book?

No. Why bother? Some books you can lob in entirety straight onto the fire. Others must remain, aligned on the shelf (but not dusted), the visible reminder of how creative and wonderful the human mind can be.

Yep, that's what happens in the early hours Mrs T goes from mad to sentimental in the space of a few minutes. There's no hope for me - better get the choccy out.


  1. Hmmm....let's see what we can come up with for answers.

    1) none of the above. my bookmark is my memory.

    2) no.

    3) no.

    4) on the rare occasion that I have a hard cover, I take it off to read.

    5) paperback.

    6) I simply shelve my books. no rhyme or reason.

    7) always borrow it from the library. the only books that I buy are non-fiction (and you know what kind I buy).

    8) only if I'm autographing it for someone.

    9) sort of. when my father passed away, my brother and I inherited his small collection of 19th century US Civil War books. However, there is a public library near where I live that keeps books from the 1930's forward on the shelves.

    10) straight.

    11) one.

    12) no.

  2. Blimey, Georgie that was quick .. and succinct. (Something I have a major problem with as you can no doubt tell!) I see we have similar habits apart from library usage.

    However, I used to use the library a lot. As a child I used a mobile library every week. When we moved to where we currently live, in a small village, I was delighted to find a mobile library stopped almost outside our door! Unfortunately, a couple of years ago they changed the arrival times so that it now calls before the village school closes for the day which stupidily means the village children can't get books from the mobile library and as my children are at a different school anyway I'm on the school run. I switched to the local library in town but as that necessitates a special visit (which resulted in the heavy fines) I now tend to buy the books I really want to read.

    Unfortunately, I haven't autographed any books yet but if anyone wants a signed teatowel or placemat I'm available!!

  3. Resist the choccy or you'll never catch me!

  4. Oh..and perhaps I should say that my new exercise bike arrived today. So if you've not done it this week your're in big trouble next week. (Btw Sy emailed me earlier to say he had already done it but the race is still on between us!)

  5. Sounds like your mobile library is run by the same geniuses who run banks.

    And yeah, it was a bit quick. Sorry about that. I hit your blog first thing this morning, and since I use the battery in the morning, I had to make it succinct as humanly possible.

    Believe me, as you well know, I can go off on a tangent of epic proportations when the inspiraton occurs.

    Alas, that particular response was only due to necessity, and nothing else.

  6. Georgie,

    Well to be honest I had noticed that sometimes you do go off on a rant of epic proportions. I liked the one the other week about the telephone calls in your office!

    Yeah, the library thing made me mad, mad, mad. Sometimes you just wonder what's going on inside the heads of some of these people. Nothing sensible of that I'm sure.


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