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I am talking about books

Julie is a lifesaver. She asked me to answer some questions about my reading habits yesterday afternoon. Her timing was excellent because I tanked a ranty post. Some of you are sick so I would rather cheer you up. I have some options: (a) read this post (b) listen to the music (c) type any off topic comment. Or do all three.

I had to keep my eyes closed for most of the day because of a migraine, so I’m squinting and prepping this. And now, a word from our sponsor. Art of War, performed by Vanessa Mae, courtesy Ionna Pianissimo via YouTube.

(I am) talking about Books
The Q’s & A’s

You have 20,000 books on your iPad. How do you decide what to read next? That is impossible. I have tried to download every work from every classical French poet and novelist but there aren’t that many texts available. I regularly meet for after work tea with a colleague who needs her French poetry fix, so I need to have the works in digital format. Twangent allez tu? (I just made that up).

You’re halfway through a book and not loving it. Do you quit or commit? Toss.

The end of the year is around the corner and you are far from finishing your GoodReads challenge. Do you quit or commit? Why does everything have homework? You know there are textbooks for married couples, so they can get a degree in how to be married? I’ve even read about a girl who has a breakup plan and a two month evaluation clause in her relationship contract with her boyfriend. (I’m not introducing you.)

Painting of Queen Victoria in full regaliaQueen Victoria. Image courtesy article on Victoria’s Scottish secrety,
via The Daily Beast.  Her biography, A Personal History, was a very good read.

The covers of a series you love DO. NOT. MATCH. I usually cover my books. I prefer to read the book rather than judge it by the cover.

Everyone and their mother loves a book you really don’t like. Who do you bond with over shared feelings? My subscribers, who are very smart about hating on stuff and are more eloquent ranters. I once used my Amazon account for sharing feelings. However, no one cared that the autobiography of the Arab princess was fake.

You’re reading a book and you’re about to start crying in public. How do you deal? Cry. I like the runny eyeshadow look. I like to mix colours just in case. (Reliq Minerals aubergine and mud pie). Also, I would be completely invisible under sunglasses the size of my face.

Helena Bonham Carter via Vlad Rodriguez @ Pinterest

A sequel of a book you loved just came out, but you’ve forgotten a lot. Will you re-read the book? Highly unlikely I’ll read a sequel of anything. Unless Alexandre Dumas writes a spicy follow up to The Count of Monte Cristo on his secret blog. I know what you’re driving at and no, I did not make it past chapter six of 50SOG.

You don’t want ANYONE borrowing your books. How do you politely tell people “no”? I don’t mind lending my books out. Many people ask to have my books, so I sign and gift them over. If someone finds my taste in books intriguing, I take that as a compliment. One exception is a Verdi (Requiem) libretto, which is an early edition. It’s stashed away safely somewhere. (I have no idea where it is).

You’ve picked up and put down five different books in the past month. How do you get over the reading slump? I don’t have a slump because I’m a voracious reader.

There are so many new books coming out that you are dying to read! How many do you actually buy? Everything I want to read is so old, I can download them free from the iBook store.

After you’ve bought a new book, how long does it sit on your shelf until you actually read it? You mean, how long do books sit in the box until I stumble over it, while cleaning, only to realise that I bought a box of books and forgot to open the box?

** FIN **

By ΠιCΘLΣ

Life is short, so let’s be decent.

85 replies on “I am talking about books”

Sabi (short for Sabia, the wise one…) there you go again with your esp…or x-ray vision…the books are stacking up this month on my windowsill…got talked into buying one at the shop where they sell MY book…then another, fabulous, about cowboys (even learned that Calamity Jane got old and fat!)…a book on MONEY (from my dad)…and just added Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead to that heap! Hope it brings me some luck…but…I’m dubious! Death abounds, who wants it!?

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Susana, you’re the first person to notice the meaning of the “Sabi” in my alias. I’ve been waiting for this moment ever since I started this blog last year. I’ll check out Gilead. Sounds interesting. I see that you’re having a brilliant time at “work.” Keep up the good work.

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I am pleased to hear that. It’s now the following Sunday, but I hope the hair looks fantastic. It’s been a bit of a manic week, and I’m still running to catch up with everything. I had my citizenship test yesterday​…..aced it, naturally, but very surprised at the questions. Take care sweets ❤

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Thank you! My fabulousness, comes from all the wonderful people in my life, like you. Your qualities make me, want to be a nicer & better person, to deserve your friendship….look after yourself always ❤

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An avid reader is a terrible hoarder of all things paper. ‘We will most likely die next to a pile of things we intended to read.’

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That is so true and you have accurately described the stack of books next to my bed. These ones I intend to reread. I’m too voracious for my own good, so the stack I haven’t read is even higher. x

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And yes, there will be books you cannot just make it through… Disturbed Earth is on my list. No, save for rare occasions (The Nightingale) I hardly bother with the new books. You are right. The old books are free, free, free and good, good, good… Cheers to the classics..

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They opened my eyes to truer places than where i am now. Your posts are like are a good cup of coffee, witty and straight to the point. Good show.

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That was hilarious…The life of a reader, yes? I’m still recovering from the trauma I experienced in ‘The Nightingale’ by Kristin Hannah. Went to class looking like I just crawled out of a dark hole. Thank God for these glasses.

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You are hilarious. I always look like I’ve crawled out of a dark hole. It’s my favourite look. Except for today. Everyone said I looked quite lively (I was not, by any means). x

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Ahhh… you’re not seeing it through Reader and I hid the like buttons on the physical page. I only need comments for this post. Thank you again and I hope you are well. x

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Lovely insight into your thinking pattern 🙂 I love to give out books instead of tapping my toes and waiting for it to be returned, then I hide the ones that I truly can’t part with 😉 once I know that you are coming visiting.

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That’s the beauty of real books… I could just toss it if it’s not good. Tossing my e-reader or mobile phone is not worth it.

For fiction, almost all of the books that I want to read can now be downloaded freely as well. A lot of new books these days are just too over-hyped anyway…

And what is a “reading slump”? I have never heard of that phrase before. 🙂

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Yeah, for real. What is a reading slump? It’s something only a non voracious speed reader would understand. Can you imagine a day going by without reading something? I agree that nowadays new titles are overhyped. Remember Da Vinci Code? I was gifted a copy near lunch time and finished it the same evening. Then I had a fat laugh at the news stories: “Caution, may induce panic in people who do not like horror.” Then I found out he lifted the book from some other guys. Whatever.

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Even in the magic community, every time a new book is about to be published, they would continuously hype it until virtually every one are unable to stop talking about it… But as expected, a lot of those are just mediocre, and while others are not really “mediocre”, they just can’t live up to the hype.

I had received a free copy of Da Vinci Code as well. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have bought it.

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That rarely happens since they are too concerned about the bottom line nowadays, which is not bad of course, but they should also take into consideration the quality of their products/services…

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Thank you so much. I’m over the lightening flash. I did not read or blog for a whole day, actually. But waited until the distress subsided. I’m back on the horse, though. Good luck with the Electrical Lord. I he will take a liking to you, by and by. x

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That video rejuvenated my soul, thank you for exposing me to such greatness!

For books that I find dull sometimes it is the best thing to keep on going and finish it. I struggled with ‘On the Road’ about a halfway through, as I thought it was random and unstructured, but I continued reading and found it an overall amazing story. It took me by surprise.

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Thank you very much for this comment, DAON. I am glad you liked the video. Thanks for the book recommendation. I will look for a digital copy on Amazon and look out for more detailed accounts from your blog.

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I pick up books way more often than I pick up men. I have a ton of books waiting to be read. As far as digital books, they tend to be impulse buys… where I read an article about it or someone mentioned it- so I buy it. Sometimes I finish them, sometimes I don’t. I love books. My dream home has a library full of books and a cozy chair. And, for some odd reason it is lit by candle light. I know… not very good for the eyes. I tend to read very fast- I want to know what happens! Then, I go back to pick up the nuances. The little jokes thrown in there. John Irving is good for that. I can read his books a hundred times… and still find a new little joke thrown in. Speaking of which… I think he has a new book. I should buy it. Oh- and gluten free off topic…. I really need a pedicure. And a cupcake. Oops not so gluten free.

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Thanks, LQ. Your reading habits are inspiring. I totally get the speed reading by candle lit library bit. A good book should suspend the reader in time. Also, I need a pedicure. I am debating bright red and mocha brown. Cupcakes always brighten my day, even if I only look at them.

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Fantastic images SB, and if you do hear that Alexandre Dumas has a secret blog, give me a heads-up, I so want to read that…….Can you imagine those skeletal fingers typing away, and his work being read down at the local crypt?
You make me smile 😀

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Alexandre’s alive in spirit, I’m sure or at least, I hope he’s still hovering around in these circles. I hope to be inspired by him someday. Thank you again for this. I’m feeling a lot better. x

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Now that did cheer me up! Those guys are funny! I also think your point about being willing to give up on a bad book is important. I used to feel so obligated to finish something I started reading even when I realized it wasn’t for me – but there are so many things I want to read, life is too short to plod through something you don’t like.

Gluten free favorite of mine and my daughter’s: Katz Challah bread toasted with honey-almond butter. Not sure if you can get this where you are, but if you can and you haven’t tried it – it’s yum.

May all your migraines be vanquished soon!

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Thank you, Matt. I am the same way with films. Grab me in the first fifteen minutes or I’m out. I am going to bother one of my pastry chef friends about the Katz Challah bread. He has supplier connections so might be able to source it for me. He owes me because he can’t make any macarons for a month (my body is screaming for a fix). And he knows what’s good for him because I’ll just tell his wife how urgently I need this. Thanks again.

I’m glad you’re feeling better.

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I just can’t afford to waste my time on a book that I don’t like since I have too many other books that I still want to read. Life is just too short for reading subpar books and books that don’t interest me after all :). Besides reading fiction, I also have to read a lot of higher math books which can be very time consuming so I always aim to use my reading time wisely by only reading the books that I like.

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That’s a good choice and please let me have recommendations on higher math books? I am insatiable. And it’s summer. I love doing math problems into the wee hours of the morning. x

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Perhaps, any book from the “Mathematical Gem” series (3 vols) by Ross Honsberger can be a good choice. The selections of problems on those books don’t require you to have very advanced math knowledge to solve them but these problems are entertaining and can be quite challenging nonetheless.

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Whenever I lend out a book it turns out the recipient is in fact a wicked being who not only fails to return it, they apparantly use it in bizarre rituals in order to stifle or otherwise constrict my daily routines, or else I’m just overly sensitive? Loved the video, those are funny guys! Good blog too, had to click to find out what 50SOG meant – gosh, I’m so naive! I just bought “Belle De Jour” on DVD, I’m sure it will be 1000x better, surrealism is the way to go – tho I bet E L James made tons more cash than Buñuel

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Thank you, Odgen. This was a wonderful comment. I don’t think you’re being overly sensitive. People are very attached to their books. I normally purchase my own copy or receive one as a gift. That is why I’m happy to give one away. There is never any question of ownership.

I gave a first edition copy of Saint Theresa’s biography, Come Be My Light, to a Roman Catholic nun. It was a treasure, for sure, but it is in the right place.

I am glad you like the very old In Living Color video. Very few comedians can make me laugh these days but these guys are tremendous.

I called the book 50SOG because I want to emphasise its sogginess in trashy writing. EL James got hers on the Twitter Ask Me Anything series. #AskELJames. I applaud Twitter for enabling that much needed take down. Thank you always for your support and please let me know how the DVD movie worked out.

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I would have enjoyed the E L James takedown for sure, she had that coming! 🙂

I don’t know when I’ll get round to watching the DVD, but I’m a big fan of those early surrealists, especially Buñuel, so far I have only seen “Simon of the Desert” which was such fun! Someone had a video on utube of the closing scenes set to a dance anthem, it was hilarious, it really worked – oh wait, I just found it again! I wonder if I can post links? This is a little odd . . . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbP1lVbNAQk

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I hope you enjoy that 🙂 I shall buy the film someday, I got the other one so cheap it was irresistible, I love all those irascible surrealists and the existentialism. I love religion too, and all the caboodle that comes with it – many of my family are religious, and I was greatly (if not deeply) effected by it. An Aunt gave me a little book titled “Practice the presence of God” when I turned 18 or so, its by a 17th-century Carmelite monk, I shall have to dig it out again sometime. Not quite so off the wall as many of them tho!

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Caboodle! You’re my hero. I’ve never enjoyed a sceptic more than I do right now. Of course I enjoy all religions because of the same entertainment value they provide.

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I watched the film “Belle De Jour” last night, I said I’d let you know how I got on, well, it was a quality film as expected, but it didn’t blow me away like his “Simon of the Desert” did, or other pieces I saw by him over the years – I wouldn’t say I’m disappointed, it works as a cultural historical sort of signpost, one can imagine how a film like that must have had a big impact in its day. Maybe I’m missing something? The French seem to have a different view of women from the English – they seem to want women to be illogical and unpredictable, thats actually quite interesting I think, though it must be difficult for them to always have to appear sexy at the same time, maybe its worth the pay off of acting so irrationally! Good luck with that French people! Thats my response – I did wonder if Buñuel himself frequented brothels, a lot of people of his generation did, or at least, grew up surrounded by “the trade” he didn’t really tackle it the way I expected, perhaps I did learn something though – I mean about allowing and accepting women in culture to develop their own identity rather than endeavouring to find some “third way” as we tend to do in todays society? I mean, in Buñuel’s world, all the women are crazy, and so are the men – no one even thinks they have an answer to suit all. Today we seem to think we can create a perfect world through equality legislation, I do agree with it, because its logical, but then surely more logic, is simply more “man rule”

Well anyway, it was worth seeing, it only cost me a pound! Worth looking out for, anything by Buñuel is 🙂

I have “the diving bell and the butterfly” to watch next, I have seen it before, but I’m looking forward to seeing it again, its quite moving as I recall 🙂

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Thanks for remembering me. That was insightful commentary. The thing about French films, I’m ashamed to say, is that I’ve always thought of them as pastiche rather than social commentary. I grew up watching them, actually, and they were so shocking to me in content that I’ve never thought about looking past what was presented to me. And in graduate school Belle du Jour came up as the film to watch if you’re going to critique films but for the life of me I couldn’t understand what was going on. Obviously, I understood the film but just what… You have a point that probably the way of thinking is so alien to an Anglo-Saxon raised person it’s just difficult to see around the brilliance of the matter that’s presented to you. Now I have some more “reading” to do. I’m going to start with AngelA by Luc Besson. Have you seen it? Thanks again.

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I seem to have run out of reply buttons below, maybe its a glitch, or some WP limitation?

I think one point he was trying to make was about how we aren’t happy when things are perfect, so we need to mess things up before we have a new goal, maybe thats a man thing, not sure!

Yes, I have seen AngelA – I must see it again tho, its been a while – you might like “The Girl on the Bridge” someone on FB suggested it, she was right, its nail biting romance, but my favourite was “Heartbreaker” (L’Arnacoeur) that was So So good! Romantic and light hearted, very funny in places, a bit of a spoof, but so clever, and romantic!! Yes, romance is to meet a multi-millionaire and drive off into the sunset drinking champagne in a plush sports car! I’m such a nerd!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3PuZo8qLxo

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That point is excellent. I had that same thought yesterday afternoon. It’s a reset mechanism I think. The question is what causes it. (Britney Spears might know as she’s sat on the self destruct button after mesmerising me.) I’m a nerd too because champagne and sports cars are infinitely appealing. Thank you so much for the link. xo

(If you’re replying on the physical page there’s a five comment limit per thread. Or else it reads one word per line on mobile devices. Replying in reader is limitless. The comments break automatically.) xo

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1. Peach and lavender ice cream on tap.
2. I always judge the cover, but also always remove dust jackets because they are irritating.
3. The Galaxy Nook will not store anything on the expensive SD card so I can’t have more than maybe 5 books on it at one time.
4. Someone just returned a pattern catalog (sort of a book) after 8 years. It had been wet at some point and was partially mildewed. I had forgotten about it until the smelly thing was handed back and congratulations expected. Thank you, I was just wishing for a heavy thing to throw away.
5. Waterproof mascara is a makeup mistake I make every day.

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G! Your answers are awesome. Who doesn’t like a heavy, smelly, mildewed book? You’re hilarious. Keep making mistakes with your mascara and… Thanks for the icecream flavours idea. Will try them. x

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I don’t loan books out anymore, as some of my friends tend to forget that they borrowed them. Manuals for marriage? What about warranties? I think that might be just as useful. 😀

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Warranties are cool, but no one would give me back time when I return gallant prince. Books are a personal thing. Of course having a digital copy makes borrowing impossible.

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1) make-up sex is the best
2) never judge a book by its cover
3) the runny eyeshadow look is just dysfunctional looking to make one seem mysterious
4) book sequels are almost always better than movie sequels
5) clutter is a sign of passion, until you trip over it

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