Sunday, 15 December 2013

End of Year Reading Cram: Days 6-7


In the penultimate Saturday before Christmas, of course work was ridiculously busy. The good thing about weekends is that we don't have deliveries then, so there isn't the mad rush to get that all put out before the next lot comes in, while juggling a dozen jobs and all the customers. I was pretty much tied to the counter from ten till about half past 3, but though there was a constant stream of customers, they were pretty manageable on the whole. We had enough staff in, for once, and at least the day goes quickly when you're working non-stop.

Most of my day's reading took place over lunch. I was grateful to have the staff room to myself for most of my break, so I got stuck back into The Explorer Gene, reading about Jacques, the second generation of Piccards, who took over his father's work building a "bathyscaphe" (a kind of submarine) and being one of only 3 people ever to go to the bottom of the Marianas trench. For science, of course!

Saturday evening was the shop's Christmas meal out, which was delicious, enormous and a lot of fun. My manager (nattily dressed in a Christmas snowman jumper!) brought his girlfriend along, who I actually knew from school. It was good to catch up with her after ten years. Towards the end of the evening, probably as revenge for being outed as a former kissogram (which I think was pretty much common knowledge, but she looked shocked and embarrassed for the first time since I've known her) my colleague Joan made us all share stories of things we've done after drinking too much. Simon had woken up one morning to find a pub's hanging sign at the end of his bed, while James went missing for two days while his wife was pregnant. My story, of rambling at length to a new acquaintance about all the rude bits in Chaucer and Shakespeare, must have confirmed the impression I'm convinced my colleagues have of me as a weird academic type who doesn't really know how a twenty-mumble-year-old girl is supposed to act. (To be fair, that's not an inaccurate picture of me, only I don't think I'm all that clever, I just find books more interesting than the real world.)

What I've read today: The Explorer Gene
Number of pages read today: 50
Running total: 557 pages
Number of mince pies consumed during readathon: 5 1/2
My life outside books: Work's Christmas meal out. We've earned it.


7 PM: What a miserable old day it is outside. But though I love summer for its bright sunshine and outdoorsiness, I've come to appreciate the winter for lazy afternoons with a book in front of the fire, perfect conditions for a readathon. I've lit some Christmassy scented candles, put some more baubles and ornaments on the tree and tinsel everywhere, and spent the afternoon sprawled on the sofa catching up with Perdido Street Station. I'm about halfway through the book now, and Isaac and his friends have been set against the government in their quest to end the giant moths' reign of terror. There has been betrayal, the sentient hoover has made its changed condition known - though who programmed it is still a mystery - there is a capricious and crazed giant spider-creature who seeks for the world to be woven into patterns only it can see, and terror has ensued. What has not happened is a lot of action centred on the station itself, and I have yet to find out why the book is titled as it is.

10PM: Mum cooked a delicious roast beef dinner this evening, which was a lovely surprise. I carried on with Perdido Street Station for another hour or so. Isaac and his comrades have certainly got in over their heads with regards to these moths. After a shocking turn of events, the plot seemed to wander off in favour of some really horrifying parasitic hand-creatures doing battle with the dementor-moths. Mieville has a very warped imagination when it comes to peopling his world with beings other than the fantasy stereotypes. Also, the "cleaning construct" has led our protagonists to a junkyard of sorts, to a meeting of its own kind, the sentient machines. Quite what these machines have planned is not yet clear, whether they are friend or foe or have a completely alien agenda. I've started to feel my attention waning, so I'm thinking I'll get ready for bed and then put on Love Actually and do a bit of knitting. I'm not back at work until Wednesday now - nice long weekend - so I can afford a late night. 

What I've read today: Perdido Street Station
Number of pages read today: 199
Running total: 756 pages
Number of mince pies consumed during readathon: 7
My life outside books: Decking the halls with boughs of... tinsel and baubles... fa la la la la la la la.


  1. Sounds like a fun night out - and the beginnings of a novel lol

  2. "I was grateful to have the staff room to myself for most of my break..." When I worked at the farm shop at Chatsworth, this was like THE HOLY GRAIL OF BREAKS. Not only because READING, but also if anyone had brought biscuits or chocolates or something, you were free to explore your options without feeling all self conscious and grabbing whatever you got to first. :D

    I've been very much at work again - as you know from my extremely grumpy Tweeting from the front line - but I'm delighted to be able to catch up with the adventures of the sentient hoover again tonight! (Possibly it should have it's own spin-off? You make it sounds so... charismatic.) NOW I SHOULD GO AND READ SOME SHIZZLE KATIE.


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