The Saturday of Libraries

The Saturday of Libraries

When we moved to the town of Nyon, I joined the municipal library. The building itself is worth writing about – great thick walls, windows widened with painted wooden shutters, flowers on the sills and in stone pots; a child’s dream of a library, though in...
Beach books

Beach books

We recently enjoyed a month’s holiday – the longest we’ve ever had – to celebrate Luiz’s retirement.  One of the happiest elements in packing for a trip is messing about choosing which books to take.  Here’s the pile I took and read...
On the Elizabethans and book learning

On the Elizabethans and book learning

I have no idea if this is a fair appraisal of the Elizabethan stance on book learning, but I have an impression of a robust, exuberant, poetic spirit, capable of savouring sweetness even when regularly confronted with brutality. My impression itself may be overly...
Doors opening wherever she turned

Doors opening wherever she turned

Alan Bennett was born in Leeds and I liked this quotation chalked on a board in a café there.   It’s how I feel most days. ‘What she was finding also was how one book lead to another, doors kept opening wherever she turned and the days weren’t long...
On the culling of books

On the culling of books

I have long put off writing this post because I have an aversion to it.  A while back I bought a second hand book by Italo Calvino, Six Memos for the Next Millennium (to be reviewed – at only 124 pages it packs in well over 124 things to think about or follow...
The delusional business of book selling

The delusional business of book selling

This lovely, zestful, imaginative novel has one of the protagonists finding a job in a bookshop.  He tentatively shares with his boss the fact that he seems to be seeing things, namely a full grown living lion on the streets of a town far from any leonine landscapes. ...
Culling of books …

Culling of books …

I sometimes feel like this when we go to the flea market in Geneva and survey a lifetime’s worth of books chucked into banana boxes by the house clearance company sent to empty all trace of a life lived and ended.  When I find something I can cherish among the...
Book as mirror I

Book as mirror I

A great riposte, of course, and true to a large extent.  Having dismissed a book, it sometimes happens that I come back to it later, even decades later, and wonder at how absent I must have been at the previous encounter. This quotation is echoed much later in the...

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