Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Reading Matter

I am a Reader. Not in the academic sense, but in the sense of someone who seems to be genetically wired to read Everything. Put a cereal box or a wine bottle on the table, and I'll read it. Road signs, adverts, hoardings, magazines in waiting rooms, papers left on the train, I'm there. I almost always have something to read while I'm eating (living alone has its advantages) whether it be the Ravelry forums, something from my novel collection or a knitting book. I have a fairly ridiculously large library (1000+ books on LibraryThing, and I don't think that's all of them)and no intention of pruning it. I have seen numerous people de-cluttering and de-junking and downsizing, making their lives more Zen and reducing their possessions, but for me if you took my books away it would be like cutting my head off. You may as well try to part me from my stash.

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(this isn't all of them. Maybe 20%.)

You see, the thing is, it's genetic. My mother got me reading when I was, what? 18 months old? I have no idea. I was very young, in fact I can't even remember learning to read. My mum always has a book on the go. She has read her way through the local library so many times she's stopped going now. My parents had to extend the house to make space for all her books. No kidding. So there was really no hope for me :-) She instilled a love of good science fiction and the belief that the money spent buying a book is never wasted. She also introduced me to the joys of the charity shop and the second-hand bookshop :-) where of course, your book money goes so much further. In return I have hunted books down on the internet for her, and squirrelled out oddball selections from the second-hand shelves. We have often shared our libraries, though I think she still has some of mine on her shelves :-) She has not managed to get me to love Catherine Cookson though, and I cannot get her to like Douglas Adams, Tolkien or Iain Banks. Horses for courses I suppose...

All this brings me to today's bargain. I had to make a trip to the Post Office and fetch supplies. Handily enough, the Ayrshire Cancer Care second-hand bookshop is in between the Post Office and the Co-Op :-)

Now, to explain. I just finished "The Honourable Schoolboy" by John Le Carré. It's the only one of his I've actually read, and I really enjoyed it. (I love me a good spy thriller.) However, I have never read any of the prequels, never seen the films, so to be honest I only have a vague idea of what was going on :-) I decided while I was in the bookshop, that I ought to have a look and see what else they had of his. I have a couple on my shelves already, but, well, look what I came back with:

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Yes, I seem to have ended up with two copies of "The Tailor of Panama". Oops. Got a bit carried away. Never mind, at 80p I think I can stand it. Now I need to make a list and scour the other shops to see what else I can drop on. I wonder how long that lot will keep me going for?

I also dropped on an absolute gem. You will like this. A wee book on weaving, and...

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Alice Starmore. Oh yes. A lot less than I paid for the last one I dug out of a second-hand shop - "Scandinavian Knitting" cost me over £20. This one was £1.50 :-)

I have also been knitting, but I will show you those later. Now I need to go research John Le Carré...


1 comment:

Dorothy said...

Hi Helen, I'm another read-everything person. I wonder if you, like me, read upside down and sideways nearly as fast as right way up? I thought everyone did but have recently learned that is not so. I guess I've had years of practice with boxes and labels and signs and other people's newspapers on the train, etc.

Well done for getting so many books on Library thing. I know I should list mine (for insurance, and to stop me buying duplicates) but the task overwhelms me.