Book marks 23 August 2021
Book Marks

Bookmarks: Monday 23 August, 2021

Welcome to wherever you are. Let’s accentuate the positive on a Monday morning. It’s another red letter week for book lovers in the form of Children’s Book Week, which runs until Friday. Winners of the books of the year, awards recognising authors, illustrators, and publishers, have also been announced.

Currently reading

If I Had Your Face, by Frances Cha.

Collecting books I’ve already read

If you had read an electronic or borrowed book, would you later buy it in print, so you could place it on your bookshelf, purely, or mostly, for display purposes? It’s an interesting question in the digital age, especially when many people, myself included, have become accustomed to carrying all their photos, music, and books on a pocket-size device.

It’s a topic Fleur Morrison at Readability wrote about recently, and it set me wondering. I’ve read a few books, especially since making a concerted effort to read more about three years ago, but it does seem like I have little to show for it. The idea of buying a previously read book therefore, at a decent price from say a charity shop, has its appeal.

Having all the books I’ve read before, right there at my fingertips, would have its advantages. It’d be great for referring back to passages from a story, or having a mini library that could be loaned out to anyone looking for something to read. A filled bookcase would also make for great conversation fodder when visitors came over.

But then there is having all those books. Their mass, their bulk. A few years ago I helped a friend move an aunt to a new apartment. She was an avid collector of books, and had filled almost every wall in the old place with bookcases. Having to carry all those books (packed in proper book boxes thankfully) down three flights of stairs is not something I’d wish on anyone!

Writing up a storm in the car

Last week I learned Max Barry wrote his first novel in his car during his lunchbreaks. This week I read Australian writer Nikki Gemmell wrote her latest novel The Ripping Tree on the steering wheel of her car. Is this a thing? Should aspiring authors invest in a car so they have somewhere seemingly conducive to creativity to work? Potentially a great view would be on offer if you could drive to the right place (local lockdowns and the like permitting of course).

Reviewed last week

Last week I wrote reviews of Bluebottle, by Belinda Castles, and The Cockroach, by Ian McEwan. The former is set on Sydney’s northern beaches, the latter in mid-Brexit London.