Shabby Background

Saturday, July 27

Discarded, not despised

Next time I'm home I will take photos of our 'precious, tattered, torn, and handed-down' kind of thing that sits in a center table in the family room forever: the Bible. Mother still reads a couple of chapters during family worship. So many memories around the holy book. But since I live overseas and have no pictures to show, I'll see what I can do with something discarded from the Nelson Hayes library, a place frequented by reading expats in Bangkok.


I happen to visit Nelson Hayes during one of their post-inventory sales. The piles were tall and placed in a receptacle that reminds one of a sandbox. Going through them was my kind of blast. When I spotted one  which was ignored by buyers, I clutched it until I reached the check out counter.


The pages are brittle and yellowed. Perfect for all-things-old lover me.


Okay, it's only 1959. But given no antiquarian bookstore exists in Thailand, at least none that I know of, I was happy to have Malcolm Bradbury's first novel Eating People is Wrong.

The dedication page says TO MY MOTHER AND FATHER, and on the jacket is a peek inside: 
Professor Treece liked to think of himself as a liberal humanist. It was his desire to implant in his pupils at the provincial university where he taught English a sense of civilized values.... Eating People is Wrong contains a wealth of supporting characters inhabiting the half-crazy, half serious world of poetry readings, tea parties... and minor orgies in Espresso bars.
I have never read the book yet but I know I will have wonderful moments in the pages when I do.

~ 0 ~

Thursday, July 25

What reader species are you?

In this post: Booking Through Thursday, Thursday Thirteen, Favorite Things

Moving

"What kind of moving experiences have you had with your books? (Or, just in general if you’ve got good Moving Day stories–and who doesn’t?) Did having to pack and move your books cause any changes in your book-collecting habits? Make you wish you had everything on an e-reader? Feel free to discuss!"

Moving Day with books is something I have yet to experience. Living overseas, I know I will have to deal with packing, shipping, costs, and all when the time comes. It's the one thing that curbs my compulsion to hoard. Sometimes I look around the apartment noting things I would be willing to give up for the books in case I have to. I worry a bit but maybe I just have to remind myself that I have successfully flown my fur kid from one country to another. Books should not be impossible either.



Thursday Thirteen: reader species from Laura E. Kelly's Classification of Book Lovers & Other Readers. I am a bit of this and/or much of that; such "a cross-bred reader mutt." Most of my traits fall under the Free Range, Compulsive, Situational, and Prestige groups. Which are you or are not?

Compulsive - books as love objects: cherished
1. The Hoarder collects books by the dozens but seldom has time to read them
2. The Compulsive book buyer - I have a budget for when the compulsion strikes and it does like usual
Compulsive - books as love objects: abused
3. The Underliner and Scribbler loves to annotate and underscore, believes that margins are for scribbling notes in
4. The Promiscuous reader is a cheater; abandons current beloved book in pursuit of the next latest and greatest book to hit the charts
5. The Multitasker starts the day out with something from one novelist then reads something entirely different on the subway
Situational
6. The Omnireader  reads anything hands can get on. eg. back of boxes, receipts, terms of service
7. The Sleepy bedtime reader wakes up with a book on face and light still on at 3 am
8. The Bathroom reader got a Jeffrey Archer spending rosy days by my bathroom sink
Free Range
9. The Cross-under. I recently bought The Hidden Staircase. My last book from the Nancy Drew series was Clue in the Crumbling Wall 26 years ago
Prestige
10. The Anachronist subconsciously rejects modern technology; loves abstract concepts from ancient civilizations
11. The Conscientious reader reads nonfiction only to learn
12. The Professional reader reads because of a need to write academic articles or to finish a chapter of a dissertation.
Conflicted
13. The Delayed onset reader buys one or many books but months may pass before starting any of them. I still have one unopened luggage from one book-shopping last year


 Graphic by Laura E. Kelly. Click for more about books, reading, and authors. 

Tuesday, July 23

Thursday, July 18

Reader's bill of rights

This post is linked with: Booking Through, Thursday 13, Favorite Things

Summer Reading Redux
Do your reading habits change in the summer? Do you take your books outside more? Do you curl up in the air conditioning? Do you read fluff instead of serious books? Are you too busy playing in the sun or gardening or whatever to read much at all?

During summers when I get to visit home I read in my mother's hammock. No serious books for me. Who can concentrate when family is chattering around; the smell from the kitchen means food is coming non-stop and anytime someone would holler, "everyone! lunch in the beach!"


Thursday 13: Reader's bill of rights.  There are 12 'to's' on Book Riot's Reader's bill of rights. I put together those I can relate with or actually practice and added my own (#10-13). What would you add?


1.   to read anywhere in any position   
2.   to read without intrusion
3.   to read as slowly as you like
4.   to read several books at one time
5.   to underline favorite passages
6.   to read a book over and over again
7.   to avoid reading a book even if it's really popular (Jennifer Crispin)
8.  to laugh out loud if something you read is really funny  (Anna Vaughan)
9.   to choose a book just for its cover  (Colleen Tsoukalas)
10. to write my reactions or thoughts on the margins
11. to have a book in the bathroom, porch, and in traveling purses
12. to eat out, in charming cafes no less, after finishing a book
13to buy a book, leave it at home, come back the next year and continue reading it, not discover that it has been 'borrowed' by book thieves (I live overseas, but keep some of my books at home. When I visited last year I discovered one of them was missing and I take offense that it hasn't been returned)

Wednesday, July 17

Avocado

Let's play. Spot the A

Scientific name: Persea Americana. Alright you have accurate vision. You guessed it correctly at first glance.

And here it is in a salad, in a restaurant

Avocado is 'native to south and central America, (but) prefers to grow in tropical areas. Much higher in fat than other fruits, it has a big seed and hard skin so you can only eat the soft flesh in between. The texture is a little like butter hence its common name is "butter fruit." Photographic Dictionary

Thursday, July 11

Literary takedowns

This post is linked with: Booking Through, Thursday 13 

My dog just had his birthday (12 years old, thanks), so … how do you feel about books about dogs or pets? Fluffy stories of fluffy family members? Solid books on training them or taking care of them? Touching reminiscences of trouble and the way a person’s dog (or pet) has helped get them through?

(Mind you, almost all the pet-related books on my shelf are about dogs, but I’m well aware that people love their cats, horses, ferrets, rabbits, fish, etc. just as much, so … any species is fine!)

Any favorite books to recommend?
 Mozart (r) on his first birthday with guest/buddy Shopao (l, neighbor's pooch)

I notice, browse and admire those books about dogs but I actually do not have any of them. When I had my fur son I read about how to take care of him online and just asked his vet whenever I needed a quick question answered. Guess I was more keen on spoiling him. The spoiling took its toll. He turns 12 in August and behaves like a cat, eg. feeling entitled.

If I want Mozart to come to me I don't say "come" but "bye-bye, Mo." When it's bath time he suddenly gets busy pretending the noodle ad he's watching on TV is of national importance. Fur parents like me should probably read When Pigs Fly!: Training Success With Impossible Dogs. Or maybe someone should write us a book like When Pigs Fly: Training Success With Spoiled Rotten Poodles.

I have lots of DVDs that feature dogs though. One of my faves is Lassie Come Home. I can't stand stories or anything in the news that show dogs or any animal being mistreated.

Serious reading I did for Mozart was after my divorce when I had to pack him to Grandma's house. It was international travel. The process involved customs, quarantines, airline regulations on flying pets and government to government communications. It was major stress.

Now that we're back to normal I am eyeing a fun read called Arlo Needs Glasses. Here's the book trailer if you want to watch -


 ~ x ~


Thursday 13: literary takedowns. What do you think of authors or editors bashing other authors or their works? Have you had a fave author or work attacked? What was your reaction?
 
1.   V.S. Naipul against Jane Austen
2.   Stephen King against Stephenie Meyer
3.   Kathryn Schulz against F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby
4.   Christian Lorentzen against Alice Munro (Poor Rose)
5.   Joseph Epstein against Franz Kafka (overrated?)
6.   Mark Twain against Fenimore Cooper (his Literary Offenses)
7.   Oliver Wendell Holmes against Plato 
8.   David Foster Wallace against John Updike (Phallocrat)
9.   George Bernanrd Shaw against Shakespeare
10. Lord Byron against Chaucer
11. Nabokov against Dostoyevksky
12. Bertrand Russell against Socrates
13. Ralph Waldo Emerson against Jane Austen

Thursday, July 4

Patriotism

This post is linked with: Booking Through, Thursday 13 


"Do you ever read books that could be considered patriotic? Rousing stories of heroes? History? Brave countrymen & women doing bold things? What would you recommend if somebody asked you for something patriotic–no matter what your country?"

The only patriotic books I read were those required in school.  Nowadays if I have to pick up one patriotic book that involves my country, the Philippines, it will be Why America Fights: Patriotism and War Propaganda from the Philippines to Iraq by Susan A. Brewer.  John H. Brown, Ph.D., has a good review of the book on American Diplomacy.



Thursday 13: quotes about time. Which ones do you like or relate to?



1. There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want. ~ Bill Waterson
2. Time is a game played beautifully by children. ~ Heraclitus, Fragments
3. If you judge people, you have no time to love them. ~ Mother Teresa
4. Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. ~ Curtin, Phrynette Married

5. They say I'm old-fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast! ~ Dr. Seuss

6. I'm on a government watch list. But I'm not interested, because government watches only twenty minutes out of every hour. ~ Jarod Kintz

7. "I wish it need not have happened in my time, " said Frodo.  "so do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times.  But that is not for them to decide.  All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

8Time is the longest distance between two places. Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

9. There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart.  So you'd better learn the sound of it.  Otherwise you'll never understand what it's saying. ~ Sarah Dessen, Just Listen

10. You may delay, but time will not. ~ Benjamin Franklin
11. Time is an illusion. ~ Albert Einstein
12. Time is what we want most, but what we use worst. ~ William Penn
13. Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana. ~ Anthony G. Oettinger
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