Tag Archives: books

The problem with books.

To be sure to the book lover, it’s hard to see a problem with books. Other than the fact there’s not enough time for them all. If you work out how many books you’d like to read, and the amount you manage to read each year, then the number of years you possibly have left in life… morbid or not, it really makes a difference in how willing you are to spend on a book.

That aside, bookshelves. I really want to re-organise mine. However, my books take up:

  • one wall of a room, from ceiling to floor, mostly double-stacked as the shelves are fairly deep.
  • the side of my desk, that has two shelves built in, and the top of my desk
  • two small tables crammed in somehow between my desk and the bed
  • another bookshelf, that almost reaches the ceiling, about 1.5m wide

Then there’s also the books that have floated out to be in the living room bookcase, that takes up the entire main focus wall.

And the crates of books in cupboards and downstairs in storage. And the seven massive bags too heavy to carry, of books I plan to donate to the library. Though I guess they don’t count – perhaps I’ve become carried away here. Yes.

The problem is, where I live is very humid. Books yellow here within two-three years. Bugs get to them, no matter how they’re stored – I don’t exactly have the space or money to store them all in air-tight containers. Books should be displayed! Anyhow. I’m thinking of getting rid of a lot of them, whether to libraries or charity, depending on their current quality.

Then the rest? Re-oganise. But oh the effort, only to be then ruined once another dozen books arrive in my life.

Yes. This is the problem with books. It’s a pretty wonderful problem to have, as far as problems go.

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Competitions!

Two competitions for book lovers:

1. Win either 1 hardcover or 2 paperbacks equal to $20 from the Book Depository: See here for the competition.

2. Six people will win one book, one of those winners will get a $15 TBD giftcard! See here for details.

 

Both competitions are international (though in the second, international winner pays shipping) and I have nothing to do with either, so please use the links to enter!

2012 Novels to be read

Whilst reading up on other blog posts on what everyone else in nominating for the Hugos, I thought I’d make a list of novels that show up the most often that I haven’t read yet. Which I probably should.

In hopefully alphabetical order (by title) – total count 20!

  • 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson
  • Caliban’s War by James S.A. Corey
  • Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold
  • The Diviners by Libba Bray
  • The Drowning Girl by Caitlin R. Kiernan
  • Existence by David Brin
  • Flame of Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier
  • The Fractal Prince by Hannu Rajaniemi
  • Jack Glass by Adam Roberts
  • The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin
  • King of Thorns by Mark Lawrence
  • Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines
  • The Mirage by Matt Ruff
  • Nexus by Ramez Naam
  • Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear
  • The Rook by Daniel O’Maley
  • Stray Souls by Kate Griffin
  • Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed
  • Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch

 

Libraries

I’ve had a library card for longer than my partner’s been alive, which all in all sounds incredibly creepy. Yes, there’s a slight age difference between us, but more pointedly, I’ve had my library card since 1991, when I was five years old.

My pre-school was a few minutes walk away from a library – though probably 20 minutes when trying to shepherd 20 or so tiny kids there. Parents had to supply us with a book bag (and I still remember how ugly mine was… though I think Mum made it by hand, so I should be kind about it… it was bright red/blue/yellow) and I think we went there once a week.

Though I live in a fairly small ‘city’, we have a surprising amount of libraries. Darwin, Nightcliff, Casuarina, Karama… and then Palmerston (sister-city) has one, though I think I’ve only stepped foot in it once for a NaNoWriMo meeting. Our schools all have fairly decent libraries also, and the Dept of Education has one that I think I can borrow from, but haven’t been bothered to just yet.

We went to the library a lot when I was young, right up until maybe a year and a half ago (or is it two and a half years?) when Dad received my first iPad (and I upgraded) for his reading. He loves the damn thing, and now doesn’t read printed books, which is a good thing for mum who was literally running out of books to borrow, despite our number of libraries.

I loved the library when I was little. Not so much now, which I’ll get to in a moment. Mum used to take me there when I was ill, because it was a promised quiet space. The chairs were massive, she’d help me find my favourite books, and I’d finally feel rested and okay afterwards. I loved ‘The Fiend’ books. There was this book called ‘The Bear Nobody Wanted’ that was only read by myself – our library sill had the card system for a long while, so you could see that I was the only person borrowing it.

Now our library has eBooks and online ‘holding’ of books, if your card is enabled and you’ve set up a password. I love the idea of finding a library has a book you need/want to read at 10pm, and being able to put it on hold until you can make it in after work the next day, so I went in to have my card enabled.

Only they couldn’t, and had to call others over. My card was too old and the …idk, code on the card was far too old for this to happen. I asked what about everyone else in Darwin? I’m young, surely my card-…

Nope. Seems majority of people have either died, don’t use the library anymore, or lost theirs and have had to ask for a new one. They called someone over who needed my card for half an hour but surprisingly, they didn’t throw it out and simply give me a new one. It’s not even the oldest card I’ve had – I remember when it was just a yellow bit of card with your name written on it and then laminated. The handwriting on it was lovely.

 

I also used a library down in the very small farming town of Frankland, when I visited mum’s side of the family during holidays. It was a small half room attached to the town hall, and to this day they’re still on the index card system. I never got mine, I was always on Grandmas, and they were only open two days a week which drove me bloody crazy. At any one time they probably hold … mum and I can’t agree. At least nothing over 300 books, but at least they did a high turnover with nearby farming towns, so one visit I might have seen Frankland’s books, then next time it would be Cranbrook’s books, or Albany’s.

 

 

These days (and they’ve had it for a long time) there’s video games, televisions, and people who speak normally/loudly/yell across the room. I’ve tried going there while sick, and it’s been quieter in a bookstore in a shopping centre instead. I utterly hate this. I miss our quiet libraries. I miss the slightly-scary and/or rude librarians who’d tell you off. I love video games. This doesn’t mean I want them in a library with the sound way up and a horde of kids being loud around them.

 

But hey, what does my opinion matter. My hands are still ruined by ross river and so I read on my kindle (recently upgraded to the paperwhite!) because I can’t hold a book that’s over 300 pages otherwise. My library’s collection of ebooks seems to just be popular titles, ie. vampire smut, so I don’t even use them for that. Eh. At least I have the memories.