Bookophilia

… yeah, and I love books too. This is a fraction of a fraction of the books I have. Technically, the Middle three shelves aren’t mine (even though I bought them and I occasionally read them). The bottom three shelves (including the floor) are books that I’ve read and need to find a home for. The top shelf is books about writing, classics and a set of inspector Morse books that I picked up for a couple of quid. The next two shelves down are books that I’m reading through alphabetically by author (already sorted). Oh, and hands off the ducks! 🐸

Nothing

I’ve no photography to share with you apart from the tree loppers I took back to B&Q for a refund, and that’s nobodies definition of interesting.

I’ve no stories in me apart from that I went to a Bookcrossing and swapped 10 books I’ve finished reading with one book to read (Mexican Gothic), which is a great result considering that the study is overflowing with books but is hardly interesting.

I’ve no great plans to share other than my ongoing plans to be world famous and live forever (well, at least until I’m 120) but that’s hardly news of you’ve been reading my stuff for a while.

I’ve no books to tell you about other than I’m reading one called Gut by Giulia, Enders, which is about the human digestive system (not entirely unrelated to digestive biscuits) and is fascinating me (so far) with its tales of what happens to the stuff we eat on its way through our body. But who wants to know about that sh…tuff!

In fact, I’ve nothing to tell you at all. Sorry about that.

The Best Companion, Over Time, is a Book

… one fateful day, something happened in the lives of Oscar, his wife Luna and their beloved, if rather bookish, child Marissa that changed the way they saw the nature of companionship forever. It happened on a dark and stormy night; the kind of night when wickedness can creep into a kingdom unawares and unseen, despite the benevolent rule of the wise king and the charms woven by his mesmerising queen.

Envious eyes had been watching the plump fruit of the kingdom in the desert for a while now and an army had been amassing secretly within its borders; hidden in the marketplace, secreted in the inns and taverns and, day by day, gaining strength by sucking on the very tit that the king had thought to be protected and invulnerable. It is not always goodness that prevails when greed outweighs contentment.

I’ll tell the tale in short brushstrokes so that you can return to your busy lives quickly. Oscar and Luna were called away on a matter of great importance. The teenage girl they sent for to look after Marissa was waylaid by her boyfriend en-route to the house and pulled into a corner to peck and giggle as teenagers do and so she had not arrived by the time Marissa’s parents, desperate and despairing though they were, had to leave Marissa alone at home with only her favourite book, a warm house and the promise of a quick return. They cried, they left. Marissa settled down into her favourite chair to read a tale of derring-do and wild adventure, for she was quite boyish in her bookishness. Time passed.

I’ll not tell you of the knives, of the blood, of the women and children dragged screaming from their houses. I’ll spare you the detail of the wild and tumultuous scenes in the street as fighting ebbed and flowed like a red tide leaving severed limbs, broken bones and wounds that yawned as if begging for a sleep that was never to come. Best not to tell you that many a face at a window, aghast and horrified, was the reason for a house to be invaded and ransacked and emptied of all life and love. Only the quiet houses were left untouched. Only those that didn’t provoke the appetites of the invaders who coveted, above all else, trouble and the kind of bloodletting that meant that what was left was theirs alone.

Despite those covetous eyes, evil plans and terrible warmongering, goodness won in the end. The king had not been as complacent as we thought. His men and women fought courageously without rest until every wicked shoot, every invasive weed was wrenched out from the fertile soil of their garden and utterly destroyed. The loss of life was great but, having fought through the night, the last squealing invader was put to the sword and triumph gained just as the sun flecked the battle-torn streets with its first rays.

Luna spent the night alternately shrieking, scratching at her breast and beating futilely at the door that Oscar had securely bolted before he’d left to fight alongside his countrymen. All night she raved. All night she heard nothing but screaming and great crashing noises from the other side of the door. Oscar returned at dawn, unrecognisable but for his eyes that gazed steadily at her from a face so covered with blood and gore that she could scarce make out whether he was cut or not. He had followed the fighting but without once being able to make any approach to the child he knew was alone in their house. Alone and unprotected. Many times he made as if to charge madly towards his house, but always the fighting was fiercest in that direction and he was unable to go.

Oscar hastily sluiced away the worst of the blood, changed into fresh clothes before he and the hysterically impatient Luna made their way home, striding, sometimes running through streets filled with wreckage and death, walls splashed with blood that was now drying to brown in the heat of the newly risen sun. They looked neither left nor right and so did not see the sad pile in a corner that was their erstwhile babysitter and her nevermore amorous boyfriend. They marched on, fearing the worst and yet hoping, without reason, for the best.

When they burst into Marissa’s room, the fire had burned out and her book was finished, laid to one side, closed and done. Marissa was laid on the floor, arm flung out as if to say ‘come’. She was profoundly beautiful and yet utterly quiet, her eyes closed as if … as if she …

Luna tried to let out a cry of piteous despair but it died on her lips. She made as if to run to her only child, but her husband, stoic and stone-faced held her back.

‘Look,’ he said and pointed to her body and the way that her chest was, slowly and comfortably, rising and falling. ‘She is asleep. Let her remain so. There will be time enough later for her education into the horrors of the night gone by. Let her slumber in innocence for now.’

Luna caught herself and embraced her husband, feeling his strong arms go around her body; both of them giving and taking strength from each other at the same time. They gave thanks silently and then Luna nodded towards the book closed by Marissa’s side. ‘It’s true what the poet Abu Al-Tayyib Al-Mutanabbi said,’ she intoned calmly with more than a little awe in her voice, “the best sitter, over time, is a book”‘.


This being the culmination of the story instigated by Ebar, began by ikwords and continued by Devangi and Sadje. Thanks for letting me play the game with you.

Nose Stuck in a Book

I’ve always had my nose stuck in a book. Heck, sometimes I’ve got my whole head stuck in a book! People very rarely ask me why.

Oh sure, they sometimes ask me how I do it (how do you manage to read a book while you’re walking down the street without bumping into things? (practice) or how can you read 108 books a year! (one by one)) but I’m never asked why I’m always reading.

Here’s one answer that just occurred to me: it’s because I was sent from another dimension to gather knowledge so that when I leave this dimension (die) I can pass that knowledge on and save that other world/dimension/whatever.

It might not be true, but then again – why not? I mean, we all have some sort of calling in life so who’s to say this ain’t mine!

Right, back to my book.

Interstitial

I meant to type “interesting” as the title of this post, but it came out as interstitial. Heck, I don’t even know what that means! Is it something about bridges between worlds? Inter means between. Stitial sounds like it should be about stitching. Who knows!

I know who knows: the internet. But what if we existed in a world without the world wide web!

Any of you out there have something called a bookcase? I do. Any of you have a book on that bookcase called a dictionary? I got one of those too! Let’s go and have a look at it.

Welcome to my Pocket Oxford Dictionary, which was given to me by Uncle Russell and Susan (his girlfriend at the time) for Christmas in 1973, when I was nine!

Okay, let’s see if the batteries have any charge left in them … Hahaha, fooled you – books don’t need batteries! 😃 Anyway, joking aside – does it still work?

Yes it does! Interstitial: of or in chinks, crevices and gaps! Well who’d have thunk that?

January 1, 1983 is considered the official birthday of the Internet. Prior to this, the various computer networks did not have a standard way to communicate with each other.

Even before the internet was invented, we still knew stuff. Yeah, man – be proud!! 🤓

New Thing – Sleep and Screens

I’ve started this new thing. I was daft enough to confess to my CBT advisor (Woebot) that I have trouble sleeping 8 hours a night (basically because I only want to sleep for 7 hours) and it misunderstood me and thought that I had trouble getting to sleep and, before I knew it, I had committed to switching off all screens by 8pm and getting to sleep by 10pm (I get up at 6am). Aaarghh!

All of which means that I have less than an hour of electronica before it’s lights-out for all my devices! I have to go back to reading from paper, which means that the excellent book I’m reading on Kindle: You Beneath your Skin by Damyanti Biswas has to stop until tomorrow. I might actually end up talking with a real person tonight – OMG!

Right, I’m out of time for posting. I’m going to chat a little on my blog, learn a bit of Hindi on Duolingo and then switch off until tomorrow. Thirty days of this – how will I survive!

Bookish Things

This might be difficult for me, because reading is such a big part of my life, but I’ve decided to give up reading books (apart from those I have to read for work and learning) to see what kind of an effect it has on me.

Books are an escape for me. I use them to pass time. Strikes me that I only have so much time and the idea of passing it away is pretty abhorrent. I’m going to try to make better use of my time.

I have targetted myself to read 108 books per year for their past halfndecade of so and I track what unread on Goodreads. Expect my output there to drop off. I’m currently mid way through a George R.R. Martin retrospective, which contains some entertaining stuff, but that stops now, half way through a story (about loneliness). It’s already back on the shelf.

I read while walking (and eating and sleeping (joke)) and so this will be challenging. I’ll have to look at people and nature and the sky and river and all kinds of stuff like that. I’ll be faced by my own thoughts. Mostly they are profound (or some it seems to me) but some are rather banal. I’ll probably have to share those thought here, so gird your loins.

An adventure into me awaits. Wish me luck.

What, More Books?!

Just ’cause I can’t read today doesn’t mean that I can’t buy books, right?

Picked up all three of Guillermo and Chuck’s trilogy for a bargain £1.50 (for the set!) and the first two of Colin’s pentillogy (is that a word?) for only a quid. Happy days.

A Life in the Day (15-16)

Here in the city, life is more crowded than at home. The Museum Gardens are snided (filled) with teenagers playing Abba and flinging hoops to each other. Obviously some of them are going other stuff too, otherwise the world would be a very odd place!

The pavements and roads around the shops throb and throng with people; enough to populate anyone’s novel. I often wish that I could stop and take photographs of everyone I find interesting to write about.

  • The woman with the bright red ringlets that look like they are made of plasticine
  • The three Nubian sisters that stride – so tall, proud and flawless of complexion
  • The guy who’s so flamboyantly gay
  • The Big Issue seller who sits on the ground and beseeches us to buy her wares with such imploration (us that a word?)
  • The bloke in boots, shorts, a t-shirt and a beanie-hat
  • The people who live on the streets.

All of them, just begging to be in a story. But here’s the thing: they already are. It’s called life!

Anyway, the reason I go into town, aside from the people-watching and the walk (got to get my 10,000 steps a day in) is to go to the church.

St Crux church has a forecourt, and in that forecourt is a charity jumble sale (apart from Sunday and Monday) and within that sale is a book stall where the paperbacks are fifty British pence.

That book stall is the reason that I have thousands (literally) of books in the attic, the study and the drawers in the office. I guess you could say I’m addicted.

After that I go for a pee. And then I take the following photo. I guess they dredged the River Foss.