Tag Archives: Random Savidgeness

Haters Gonna Hate…

Hold up, let’s just stop for a minute before we continue in the lovely world of booky thoughts and reviews as I just wanted to have a brief chat with you all about something. This was randomly brought up on Twitter over the weekend, by someone I am not linking to and giving more airtime, and then again by a ‘kind’ comment yesterday on the about page of this blog which initially stung before I was actually slightly flattered and then found very funny…

Rude Comment

Now I know I should take trolling like this, and the accusation was pretty much the same on twitter over the weekend, with a pinch of salt and in the main I do. I had an author on facebook calling me the ‘number one blogger of grammatical atrocities’ for a while. After all, I choose to put this blog and my thoughts and opinions out in the ether, I’m no fool there are negative wallies out there. Yet just for a minute I was stung somewhat; not by my ego, which is not as big as these people seem to think frankly, but for the fact that someone would need to chip in and be so unkind.

You see I am aware that my grammar and spelling can sometimes be a bit rogue yet I would hope that people wouldn’t judge something like this blog or any blog which is done for free and all for the enthusiasm and love of books. If it was a published novel or article (where I had an editor, which is what all authors and journalists need) then fair enough, I just can’t always edit my own words because I have stared at them for too long or written them in a whirlwind of excitement. (Gran used to remind me off this sometimes ‘ooh your grammar Simon’ but she was never mean and remembered I left school early. She was just chuffed I loved books so much again.)

But what if I had dyslexia or some other factor rather than enthusiasm or just being blind to my own grammatical errors which I am probably committing all the time? Does this mean, like the lovely lady on twitter was hinting at when she said ‘an illiterate blogger is judging a book prize’, that people with dyslexia or another disability shouldn’t be allowed to blog or have an opinion? What an awful elitist (another thing oddly she accused me of) world that would be!

I think any regular reader to the blog knows that I love books and want everyone to be able to get their mitts on them and enjoy the escapism, learning and enjoyment they bring. Hence why I am so passionate about libraries, where I spent most of my childhood, and why I love initiatives that celebrate books written by and from the perspectives of all walks of life.

So after feeling the sting for a while, I wrote a reply…

Rude Comment Comeback

I felt much better. Plus, it is true. If you don’t like the blog, or something else somewhere else on the internet, don’t waste your time writing a negative comment/review (and if you have to then don’t be an anonymous coward) just bugger off and read something else as frankly I don’t want you darkening my blog’s door. Go on, off you trot and please don’t come back thank you.

Also if you have received any comments, as I know I won’t be the only one hence another reason why I decided to post this, or snark on social media etc like this; just let the sting pass and think ‘blimey I should be flattered they wasted their time commenting/tweeting’ before reminding yourself of what lovely old Madonna, she of the falling down the stairs and getting back up again, has once said (I think, though it might have been someone else or I might have made it up) at some point… ‘You know you have made it when someone really hates it.’ It’ll make you feel much better. And with that let’s move on…

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London Diary #2 – Foyles Fills Me With Excitement

So one of the meetings that I had booked for my trip to London was to meet with the lovely folk at Foyles. I have shared my love of Foyles, and indeed their new flagship store, with you before on the blog. One of the reasons I was meeting them was to discuss the plans for the second year of partnership with The Green Carnation Prize in 2015, already it looks like the prize will have another exciting year ahead and (without spoilers) it might be a bit edgier this year, so watch this space. I was also there to discuss something else which I have been floating ideas about with them since last autumn and, though I can’t tell you everything about it yet, they have agreed to let me curate a week long festival in their flagship store over the summer. I can’t quite believe they have said yes, but they have…

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Now obviously I have to go into major planning mode, without being funny what could be more fun for a complete book geek than planning a book festival? I have lots and lots of idea’s and once things are all more formalised, shaped and sorted I will share more with you. I am really excited about this summer, with this news and some very exciting news I will be sharing next week about something else I am doing over the next months I think it is going to be booking brilliant!

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Off to London, And You’re Coming With Me…

I am off to London for the rest of this week as I have some time off (though oddly I am working on Wednesday at London Olympia) and there are some lovely bookish things going on. People always said that I wouldn’t appreciate living in London till I left it, and they were sort of right. Don’t get me wrong I love living ‘oop North’ but now when I go back to London I really, really appreciate it. Before I was too busy getting from a to b without trying to kill someone on the commute – yes, I was one of those people, forgive me. The only thing I miss really badly, bar all my lovely mates, is all the booky things that go on down in big London. Well I am rectifying that on this trip and thought I would do a ‘London Diary’ of sorts while I am there so that you can all be part of the fun. Well if you want to, you might not in which case normal blogging will resume on Saturday…

Will I be bookishly themed enough on the Tube?!?

Will I be bookishly themed enough on the Tube?!?

Over the next few days though you can expect some posts on an event at Drink Shop Do (which just sounds ace) where ten authors will be reading from some of the most anticipated books of 2015 (and there are cocktails so the pictures might be blurred), a visit to Foyles (where I can’t buy any bloody books), afternoon tea at Liberties and a book illustration prize where I may finally meet Susan Hill. Yep, it is a jam packed few days – I will need another holiday after it!

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Time Away From Books…

I have decided to bring something new to Savidge Reads. Over the next few weeks I will be introducing a potentially weekly new series of posts which are all about ‘time away from books’. The idea behind this has come from an unofficial resolution I have made with myself that every week I have to do something unusual and fun and have ‘something’ to look forward to. Not because my life is dull and boring, as if, just to motivate me to go and do more of the things I love once a week. This might be going to see track down red squirrels in a forest, it might be going to a new exhibition at a gallery, it might be going on a big old walk up a hill or by the sea, it might be a day trip/weekend away with friends or might even be going to a stately home and pretending I am in Rebecca

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again...

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…

The only rules are that it can’t be really bookish (for example the stately home above is not actually in Rebecca and doesn’t have any literary links apart from having a bookshop that was closed) and it needs to be something a bit different and preferably involve culture, fresh air and laughing – the latter isn’t something I find difficult. These are vague rules because it’s a fun venture and fun doesn’t have rigid rules, if any rules at all. I just want to get out more and ‘go be do’.

What do you think? Have you any suggestions of things I should try and do – try and make them in the UK and ideally legal – as part of my plan-of-fun? What are your favourite things to do when you are having some time away from books?

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The Adventures of Bookmarks

I have been thinking about doing a post on bookmarks, which I seem to collect as many as I do books. Okay, maybe not quite as many. I still haven’t written that post, but am on it, yet whilst I faffing on the internet earlier today doing anything but what I should be doing I discovered this wonderful video about the life of a bookmark and so thought I would share that with you instead. It lasts about 5 minutes but is genuinely delightful, so grab a cuppa and then sit and watch it…

I love the idea that when you read your book mark goes on the same adventure with you. Funnily enough mine was in a boat on the ocean yesterday as I read Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea and now its in the Wild West with Joe R. Lansdale’s The Thicket. Yes, well spotted, I am reading books set on boats or heavily featuring horses at the moment – it is like my bookgroup and podcast pals do it for the laugh, scowls. Anyway, where is your bookmark adventuring with you currently?

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No More Book Buying Until March the 24th…

Dear readers it has come to my attention that I have been book bingeing. I don’t mean the occasional binge of just happening to pass a lovely bookshop and going a bit crazy one weekend, I am talking throwing myself into bookshops (almost every other lunchtime) and ‘clicking and collecting’ online whilst at my work desk/walking home/in bed upon waking. I know we need to buy books to keep the book industry a float yet in the last month I have bought over 40 books, that is more than one a day which is verging on it being a sickness or just being a naughty greedy sausage. So I decided January the 31st was the last day for buying books, so I went on a binge yesterday of course, until March the 24th.

I present a piece of evidence below for you to help you understand, be warned this image contains serious book porn…

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The column/tower of books on the left isn’t actually all the books I have bought, some have been read and some are being shipped from the US, but it is most of them. The rest are from lovely publishers, in most cases unsolicited bar five or six I actually asked for. When I am getting this many books it does beg the question (well the one The Beard has been asking, hands on hips) why do I need to buy so many more.

Part of it might be that I am buying my feelings in books. The last month has been a bit rocky in a few ways (and I am not just talking about joining the gym, ha) so I have been giving myself rewards as I get certain stuff done and tricky/awkward/tough objectives done, and nothing makes you feel better than buying some books does it. I also think it is partly a slight amount of guilt that I am getting all these free books, again most of which I don’t ask for but am so thrilled I receive, yet I know BUYING books is what means authors get paid and therefore more books can come – so I am buying.

The main reason is probably just the fact that I have wanted to and have been able to. I am currently lucky enough to have some spare cash to splash on books I am treating myself. This may not last, so I have embraced it for a bit. Now for a rest though, well until March the 24th(which just happens to be my birthday, I am no fool) and a chance to have some actual ‘reading rehab’ – mainly so I can catch up on some of the books I have bought, though I do think I am buying for the library of my future many, many, many years.

Do you ever have to bring your reading binges into line or get over buying guilt? Do any of you have rules that you set yourselves and/or limits in regard to buying books?

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Loving The Library A Little Too Much?

I love the library. If you are a regular in these parts you will know this as I have mentioned it quite a few times. As a youngster the library was a place of wonder I would go at the weekend with mum and go find a new book to love as well as finding some fascinating tome on something like spontaneous human combustion. Then at school again it became a place I loved (because ALL those books) and often a refuge (from being bullied), it sounds a bit sad but books became my friends. This has meant that as an adult, well since I started reading in earnest again, I have always supported and joined the library local to me. I am slightly worried I might be taking it too far and indeed I may be loving them a bit too much and a little too selfishly. (Is that possible with libraries?)

You see where I am in the Wirral I have a lovely library down the road which resembles a stately home meets museum, brimming with wonderful books. Whilst I haven’t maxed out the amount of books I have from there, I have borrowed quite a lot…

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Then, lucky me, near where I work in the centre of town I also have another library (a literally amazing one) in town which I am also borrowing from as you can also see…

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Now some of you may think that this is not that bad, some of you may think it is excessive. I love to support my library but I think that sometimes I am a little bit naughty, you see I am one of those people who renews books over and over and over and over… or I take them back and then take them out again on the next visit, often getting asked “erm, you have taken this out before”, which seems a bit unfair to everyone else who might want to borrow them. I know this is partly what the library is for but it is also there so we can try new things, whether we end up liking them or not. They shouldn’t be gathering dust on my shelves though.

So I have made some rules, this happened last night actually when I realised my books were up for return or renewal, that I must stick by.

  • I can borrow the maximum amount of books and not feel guilty, that is what the library is for and we are blooming lucky to have them, if we don’t use them they will vanish.
  • I am ONLY allowed to renew a book the maximum amount of times that I can. If after that I don’t want to read it, just let it go, if I still do but haven’t I need to buy myself a blinking copy. (I have just done this with Ben Myers Pig Iron and Lee Rourke’s The Canal which I have renewed well over ten times each!)
  • I need to read at least one or two library books a month, this will stop me hoarding if books start to just linger.
  • I need to be more adventurous in the library and take some more risks.
  • I should donate more (because in the Wirral you can) books to the library rather than have those gathering dust on my shelves. I can check them out again if I suddenly have the urge to read them.

I returned several books today; of course I borrowed a couple more. How could I not?

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So, that is my new library pact with myself. I can stay loving the library but not in such a bonkers way. It will also make me think about what I borrow a little more and be aware of how often I press that renew button, which I have never known if is a good move or not? What about you, what is your relationship with the library? Which gems have you discovered thanks to your library or a lovely librarian?

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