Thursday, 9 January 2014

Bout of Books: Days 3-5


After a long weekend, I was back at work trying to smother a rotten headache with painkillers. The headache had been bad enough to keep waking me up in the night - and of course, sleepless night made it worse in a downward spiral effect. The school holidays are now over, meaning that the shop has gone very quiet indeed all of a sudden. This doesn't mean I've been sitting on my backside all day, though. Most of the day was spent in removing the seasonal promotions, setting up the new displays, and rearranging the shop in a way that makes some sort of sense.

I finished NOS4R2 on Tuesday evening, which left me with a book-hangover. I needed some time to put that story world to rest, and so I continued with a safe reread: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. In the book's early chapters, I picked up on one of the series' unanswered questions.
Dementors caused a person to relive the worst moments of their life. What would spoiled, pampered, bullying Dudley have been forced to hear?
I wonder if J.K. Rowling has ever answered that question, or if anyone has thought to write fanfiction on the subject. It reminded me that even supporting characters have their own secret lives, that even though we only see the Dursley family in the summer holidays, when Harry lives with them, they exist throughout the year, and don't define themselves as supporting roles in the Potter boy's story. The very idea!

I decided Wednesday should be a computer-free day, as I came home very tired, wanted an early night, but still planned to get some reading and writing done without the distractions of the internet. I found it quite liberating to write by hand for a change; there are no word-count widgets, and again, fewer procrastination opportunities this way. I'd like to get back into the habit of writing at least bits of first drafts on paper.

Books read today: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Pages read today: 70
Running total: 342
Books finished: 1: NOS4R2
My life outside books: 4 and a bit notebook pages filled. Fountain pen loves me.


Despite setting myself a rule of not adding more books to my to-read pile than I read, I have already acquired two books this year, while only finishing one. Judith lent me Commander Chris Hadfield's book: An Astronaut's Guide to Life (which, in fact, was my Christmas present to her in the first place.) My second book might not count, as it's one I've already read, but I will be strict with myself and include it in the total: it is a second copy of Enid Blyton's Second Form at Malory Towers, found in the Oxfam bookshop. I collected these books when I was growing up, but they changed the cover design partway through, and this one and the last book featured more modern and less faithful illustrations. This was the first time in maybe 16 years, maybe more, that I have tracked down one of the remaining books with the "right" cover, so I couldn't help myself. (Now, if I can find the last book in the same style...)

At lunch time, I made a start on reading Paul Magrs' Something Borrowed, the second book in his series about a couple of old ladies with unusual pasts who solve mysteries of the gothic and supernatural kind. I read the first book about Brenda and her friend Effie when I was on holiday. Like the first, Something Borrowed is an easy read, darkly funny and a literary nerd's dream. I expect to have finished that by the end of tomorrow.

Books read today: Something Borrowed
Pages read today: 63
Running total: 405
Books finished: 1: NOS4R2
My life outside books: Yes, I bought a kids' book I already own, because I liked the cover better. So sue me.


I'd made a long list of things I wanted to get done today, but the headache that began Tuesday evening has stuck around and keeps threatening to turn into an all-out migraine. Instead I spent the morning and early afternoon finishing off Something Borrowed. While not as brilliant as its prequel, it was a fun, entertaining read. One character, who did not feature in the book itself, but was there in flashbacks, I rather suspected was loosely based on J. R. R. Tolkien. Named Professor Reginald Tyler, a don at Cambridge university (rather than Oxford), he was a key member of a literary society called the Smudgelings (see Inklings) and spent his entire life working on an elaborate mythology (although this was more Lovecraftian in style.) It made me smile, although I rather doubt that Tolkien had the same sort of dark and horrifying secret life that Tyler led.

Over Christmas I sorted out a load of books, DVDs and clothes that I no longer wanted, and this afternoon I took some of these down to the charity shops: Oxfam bookshop, the Red Cross and the Earl Mountbatten Hospice shop. I've still got another bag to go, but I can only carry so much at a time.

Books read today: Something Borrowed
Pages read today: 261
Running total: 666 pages (haha!)
Books finished: 2: NOS4R2, Something Borrowed.
My life outside books: Quiet day off. Back at work tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to get my hands on An Astronaut's Guide to Life! I have a feeling it's gonna be a really good one. Good luck for the weekend, Katie!


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