Simon’s Bookish Bits #15

I have been up quite early this morning as I am feeling rather nervous as I am off to Highgate today for the crucial last day of training and approval to become a tour guide so if I waffle in this weeks rather random (birthday bits, competition bits and bobs, a link and the Riverside Readers small leap to fame) Bookish Bits. I hate tests I get so, so nervous so please have everything crossed from me this afternoon.

First up is another big thank you from me as I received some lovely birthday gifts from some lovely bloggers and readers which was really kind. I still have to go and pick up quite a few parcels from the sorting office (the postman hates me this week) but here is what has come in from some of you…

That very appropriate mug and book are from the lovely Kim at Reading Matters. The bag has already been out on the tube with me twice and three people have actually asked me where it came from. I didn’t know which got some frowns, I just think people thought I didn’t want to tell them, but maybe Kim will pop by and let us know? The lovely Simon T sent me some Wodehouse as I own none and mentioned on his post that I really wanted to read them. A reader who would like to remain unknown also sent me Murakami’s ‘After Dark’ which I am really looking forward to reading. I believe the lovely Novel Insights has ordered me a rather special series of books which I am very excited about and will update you on when they have all arrived.

Now as a thank you for all your lovely thoughts I secretly put anyone who said Happy Birthday in a raffle for a copy of ‘A Life Apart’. I also then gave away two sets of the first reissues of the Agatha Raisin series and (drum roll please) the winners are… Simon T and Elena. If you email me your addresses we will get them out to you.

Now if you didn’t win don’t be disheartened, there is a mammoth Agatha competition coming later in the year, seriously its ace! There will be more random giveaways for comments here there and everywhere in the months to come. It takes a lot to comment (I get as many emails as comments as some people like to stay that bit more anonymous) so it’s nice to say thanks now and again don’t you think. I am aware I have been rubbish at commenting back or on other blogs this week, revision and birthdays are to blame.

Finally before I whizz off for my big important day at Highgate I thought I would leave you with some links to have a gander at. Claire of Paperback Reader has written a brilliant rant about annotations in library books you have to read. I personally can’t grasp why people even dog ear a library book let alone write in them. Do what you want in your own books but not library ones, I find it really grating. Mind you this shocked me to the core last year…

Yes that is indeed a second-hand Persephone book that some dimwit has written the price in ink and massive letters on the inside of and technically defaced. I was appalled.  Note – this is not a new picture but one taken when I was allowed to buy books last year.

The last link for you today is one that I got very excited about. The Riverside Readers have become the latest book group to feature on the Faber and Faber website. You can go and have a look at our lovely group shot and then read the feature, I have been eagerly awaiting this for a few months and hoorah here it is!

So what are you all up to this weekend? Is anyone else doing any tests/exams of any sorts? What bookish things have caught your eye? What book have you been raving about? I will look forward to all your lovely replies when I get back… oh dear the nerves are coming in waves again!


Filed under Simon's Bookish Bits

42 responses to “Simon’s Bookish Bits #15

  1. I’m surprised you haven’t read Wodehouse. I just posted about him today and a particular book I think is a good place to start.

    Love that mug!

  2. I find it quite funny that, while on the tube with your ‘Go away, I’m reading’ bag – presumably reading? – people came up to ask you questions! 😀

    It is an awesome bag, though, it would be very hard to resist asking about it. I always get really happy when I see people reading actual books on the tube.

    On another note, I didn’t know about Riverside Readers (I’m a relatively recent follower of your blog), but it looks good. I really do like book groups when they’re interesting and have a good group of chatty book-loving people. The next one looks quite interesting, I might see if I can read it and come along to the April session. (Assuming it’s open membership and people can just come along, that is – didn’t see anything saying otherwise on the website?)

    Nice feature on Faber and Faber! And hope today goes well for you at Highgate.

    I’ve had a really intense week at work, so I’m looking forward to curling up with ‘The Children’s Book’ by A.S. Byatt and forgetting about it all!

    • Cor blimey, how’d it get to be the 27th March? Okay, maybe not April, maybe I’ll think about joining the book group in May!

    • I dont think I was reading on any of those occasions actually, I have had a small dip in reading as have been so busy I havent wanted to start anything as wouldnt be able to get fully into it at the moment I dont think.

      We do welcome new members to the book club but at the moment we are rather full to the rafters so do drop me an email and I will see how the turnout is for Thursday and the future.

  3. Good luck with your last round of Highgate training today, Simon!

    How exciting about the Riverside Readers feature – it’s always lovely to see my name in print 😛 It makes me excited for next week’s meeting (Polly, Jackie, Kim and I were briefly discussing the book on Twitter yesterday).

    Thank you for the link! The photograph above is freaking me out – a defaced PERSEPHONE?! If I’m not mistaken, Someone at a Distance? I’m disgusted; it is so lazy and disrespectful to the work that went into the book by both the author and the press – what happened to sticky price labels?!

    Love the mug and bag and great book gift choices; I loved After Dark and have been wanting to read Wodehouse (I think the blue one I spy is Thank You, Jeeves, which is the one I have been advised to start with).

    • It is indeed that very issue Claire, I knew that after your post the other day this would be a bit of a problem for you.

      The blue one is actually Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves. I have no idea where to start with these but one of these two will be the one and was such a nice gift in fact I had ace gifts this year.

      I am very much looking forward to the next book group indeed. I have only just started the book so am avoiding reading anything about it anywhere.

  4. gaskella

    Great prezzies!

    I’ve not read Wodehouse either, and that’s in my reading resolutions for 2010, so I’d better not forget.

    I sincerely hope that I never have to do another exam in my life, but my fingers are crossed for you. Good luck.

    When I was in various orchestras years ago, we always had to keep a 4B pencil and good rubber in our bags for marking up music and cleaning up afterwards – as it was always hired. Anyone writing prices in books should do the same!

    • I have heard in a certain chain of second hand charity book shops they now stick the ‘gift aid’ sticker in the opening pages which will ruin and rip the page if you try and take it off… whats the sense in all of this, its all madness, madness I tell you!

  5. The pricing of books (by charity shops and others) in pen is the bane of my life. Closely followed by what the bookdealer stuart Baldwin described as booksellers who wield their pricing pencil so hard it becomes an engraving tool.

    Hope you enjoy the Wodehouse!

    • I have to say back when I perused charity shops for books endlessly the way the price was put in the book would actually effect if I bought it or not. Biro’s and hard thin pencil writings are a no go.

  6. What a fantastic week for you! And steady those nerves. You will of course pass with flying colors.

    Also hate the book marking bit especially when it is a resell in second hand shop and they have near ruined it with their pricing. Have a thing about remainders that are marked with a black permanent marker on the bottom. Total defacement. Thank goodness people are getting away from that. Handled the same way in the UK?

    • Its is all about stickers on the back of the book in the UK Frances unless, as some very wise second hand stores are doing, they simply write on the shelf ‘all books X price’. There is a case of engraved and deeply embedded pencil writing and in some cases biro on the inside… and a new think of putting stickers on the first pages, whats that all about?

  7. I bet they have no shortage of people who want to work Highgate, with its prominent feature in books these days. You will do swimmingly on the test, I know it! You love what you are doing and that will carry you through.

    • You would be suprised actually Sandy its not as popular as you might think. Its slowly changing, which is a good thing as it is getting more and more visitors each month at the moment.

  8. That mug is amazing! I want one! I hope it all went well for your test at Highgate. I have myself just started a new job at Drayton Manor theme park was really nervous but have really enjoyed it so far. Unfortunately have been so tired after work haven’t got much reading done!

    • I have always wanted to go to Drayton Manor Park, have you been on lots and lots of the rides? I am a complete rollercoaster addict, well not quite as much as The Converted One but nearly.

      • Having grown up with Drayton Manor on my doorstep I’ve been on the rides more times than I’ve had hot dinners lol!! Haven’t been on the newest rollercoaster there though which is G Force, however do get free tickets so should really check that out.

  9. Susan in TX

    Good luck on your Highgate final! Your birthday loot is so fun — I think I might be tempted to hang the bag on my front door at times! 🙂

  10. You need to post a larger version of the book club pic, please! 😉

    And I bet you did wonderfully on your exam. You seem to go all out with anything you love so why would this be any different. I’m sure that you are probably over-prepared!

    Oh, and I can’t believe they wrote in pen and in that large of writing! How terrible!

    • I think I did post a bigger picture of the book group post ages ago you might have to do a bit of searching to find it.

      The ink thing has haunted me for about a year since I took that photo. I havent used it for this long as wasnt sure if you would all be able to cope with it hahaha.

  11. farmlanebooks

    It is great to see that we’ve finally made it onto the Faber website!

    Good luck with the Highgate guiding – hope it went well today.

  12. Good luck with your test, I reckon you’ll make an awesome tour guide (just remember you always know best, no matter what the tourists might think).

    • Oooh I am not sure about that one Jodie, we were all saying that Highgate has some true fanatics and they will often know sooooo much about it that they have been known to correct a guide which is rather daunting.

  13. I hate it when they write book prices with permanent ink! And as big as that, and in the middle of the page!

    Enjoy your Wodehouses. I read my very first this month and it was funnn! Congrats to your book group!

    • Its a book you couldnt simply rip the page out either could you (I have never done that in a book ever in my life) if you were that way inclined.

      I am looking forward to the Wodehouse.

  14. Good luck on the training. Hope you are accepted soon!

    I took 1/2 day vacation to attend the Tennessee Williams Festival and heard David Eggers.

    After the festival, i traded some backs and got 3 new ones at a bookstore.

    I also gave away some books that are too old to sell at a local coffee shop.

    I took a cemetery tour and bought some cotton yarn on sale.

    I also picked up my asthma medicine.

  15. Mae

    You London bloggers sure do get around! 🙂 Congrats on the book group being featured.

    Also – I LOVE LOVE LOVE the bag. Kimbofo must tell us all where she got it from (perhaps she could even get a commission from the stockers since I’m sure there will be an onslaught of orders from us booklovers). Good luck with your test!

    • Hahahaha I love the commission idea though Kim would give us the information for free as she isnt mercinery in the slightest. I believe someone has left the details further below.

  16. Dot

    You had some lovely Birthday gifts! Good luck with the test, I am planning a trip to Highgate in the future!

  17. Marina

    The test must be behind you by now and hopefully you’ve passed with flying colours!

    It’s great that your book group features on the Faber and Faber website! Also I’m grateful for the link as I’d never visited their site before.

    Now I’m drooling over their new Poetry Classics series. Those covers are sooooooo gorgeous!

  18. do those bags, in various colours, along with a load of other gorgeous products. There is hardly anything on the website that I wouldn’t be tempted to buy.

  19. OMG! That photo looks horrible!! I’d hate to actually physically see that book! So far, I’ve only seen prices written really small on the top right corner in pencil, and I always erase them off when I bring them home. But there are some library books (especially those that come from uni libraries) that are always notated somewhere. I don’t mind adding notes to my own books, though I usually don’t, but I really hate it when there are notations on library books. Sometimes the notes even ruin the whole reading experience for me!

    Anyway, great presents! Hope you enjoy Murakami’s book, it’s a good one. =)

    • Its quite disturning when you see a book which has been treated like that, I only hope someone sometime will see beyond this.

      I hate notes in library books, it makes me so cross, you are right it can completely put you off.

  20. Well, I spent my weekend in Paris, and so have only just seen that I am a winner! How lovely – and hope you like the Wodehouse (not the first ones in the series, but the only ones I could find…) Will pop and email you…

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