Friday, 18 September 2009

Books………. and my kinky affliction :o)

Hi Y’all,
I was stood at the back door waiting for the kettle to boil for yet another cuppa, (not that that has any bearing on it) and got to thinking of my books, and not in the least the ridiculous amount I’ve spent on them this month alone …….. the last two months actually. Just had the visa bill this morning. It was not a cheery sight. (sigh)Anyway, these books……….. I have an embarrassing amount of them here at Fortress Wheelrest, and all the more embarrassing because there are more sitting there unread than I care to admit to, so I’d appreciate your keeping that to yourself in respect of my revealing such a confession to you. :oI

This month the book buying frenzy is all around collecting around me, a plethora of inspiring writing books. I rationalise The Madness by telling myself I'm about to make something of a breakthrough as a Much Acclaimed Author in November, when I do the NaNoWriMo thing. I’ve mentioned it here several times, but in case you haven’t read through the blog, or don’t intend to, ………… nanowrimo is a 'competition' where everyone registered to the website ( attempts to write a first draft of a novel, screenplay, whatever, and completes a minimum of 50,000 words in the month of November every year.

No money, or any other prizes to be won, just the satisfaction of being a NaNoWriMo Winner if you succeed. So, ......loads of inspirational, and how-too books are descending through the letterbox at irregular intervals to feed this enthusiasm in the long run-up I'm taking to November. I shall then be raising the drawbridge here at Fortress Wheelrest, and repelling all boarders with a bleary-eyed "Bugger-Off-I'm-Busy", Fair Maidens being the only ones granted an audience, which shouldn't take up much of my precious writing time, given the dearth of them clawing at the door these days. :o) (sigh)

So this writing focus I’m swept away with right now, is responsible for my purchasing just about any book on writing worthy of note and praise. Believe me, that’s no idle boast either. Splintering off from that, are the temptation of several books found whilst browsing away, some of which are books of short stories; something else I intend to get 'into', compose, and maybe even sell, who knows.

Short-story competitions would be good to enter too, but as usual taking the first steps are the hardest of obstacles to climb over. Those first steps being the first to progress beyond writing the odd thing for myself, and the long emails I send to a few close friends, and the online chicks I dare to try and find a match with. Boy, have I ever cast a few hundred thousand written words onto the hot sandy wasteland that is Trying To Impress A Woman. Still, that’s the nature of the beast I guess. :o)

Achieving a ‘winner’ status in November’s Nanowrimo will be a huge leap forward towards that end of progression.

I absolutely love my books, I love searching for them in shops, and more usually, online at the Alter of Amazon. God bless them. The trouble with the online method of reducing ones disposable income, is just how easy it is to buy the books, aided by the bottomless variety and availability of so many.

It’s a sickness of possession. It’s as much in the pleasure of being surrounded by them, as that of reading them, and the world conjured from their absorbed words or the wisdom contained within. They are full of people’s stories, fact or fiction. Lives imagined or real revealed. The things that someone has taken perhaps a lifetime to learn can be bought for just a few quid, and so cheap at the price (He desperately convinced himself!). It is cheap too………. I’ve bought practical books over the years for many hobbies and interests, full to the brim with advice found out the hard way. A lifetime’s expertise laid bare for the reader to absorb and learn from. Sometimes years of costly experimenting, learning the hard way from many failures, and these days no materials are cheap to make such failures not worthy of note. All in a book, costing at the very most, say fifteen quid a book, and usually a lot less.

Second-hand books, I adore as much as new, and not just for the cheaper cost. I revere them for their sense of having already had a life in another’s hands. I adore their smell, the yellowing of their pages, occasionally a written dedication inside the cover of having been given with love, and sometimes all that has been left inside, a hint at least of what went before.

I love to posses them, love the smell of them, new or old. Perverse though it may seem, or even actually be, I often hold a newly acquired ‘old’ book up to my nose, and fan the edges of the pages past my thumb, breathing in it’s unique smell. God knows what bugs I fan into my lungs, but so far it seems to be ok. Still breathing. smelling a book is sometimes like breathing in its history. The amalgamation of all it’s ever been, where it’s lived, and the fingers and hands that have held it. Smoker’s books are the only ones that don’t small so nice, but even they are good, because of such an obvious clue to it’s history.

Some books I turn over in my hands, looking for its personal imperfections from the use it’s had, and wonder at who held it, read it; wonder what their lives held. Some have a crumb of cake or bread inside, a hair maybe, and even occasionally a bookmark left trapped between the pages. Traces such as these aren’t often found, of course, especially a bookmark, and especially the rarest of clues to ponder; that of the bookmark with handwritten notes on, or in it.

There’s a website, a bookseller’s I think, devoted to all the bookmarks he or she had found……. pictures of them all too. A little bit fascinating, although not enough for me to exactly turn into a hobby myself. :o) I googled ‘found bookmarks’ to see if I could find the site, but to no avail.

As you do, I browsed a few links that came up ……….. Here’s a site article with links of stuff found inside library books, including forty $1,000 dollar bills. Imagine THAT??? :o)

Here’s one with instructions for making a ‘paged’ bookmark to make notes as you read, for you ‘crafty’ types :o) ….. Good idea, but I don’t know that I could be bothered ……… especially since I’m a rough, tough Old Greaser! :o)

I often use a half, or quarter folded sheet of A4 as a bookmark to write notes on. Works as well, takes seconds to fold and use, but nothing like as aesthetic as something so carefully made. Usually I use the wire-bound ‘reporters notebook’ I keep by me when I’m reading.

Books, do you love them as much?

What do you like about them, ……. and are you as weird as me to love their smell?

(PLEASE say you are!) :oI
K.x :o)

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