24 February 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Something Old, Something New

All other things being equal – do you prefer used books? Or new books? (The physical specimen, that is, not the title.) Does your preference differentiate between a standard kind of used book, and a pristine, leather-bound copy?

If it has the requisite number of pages, isn’t falling apart, and doesn’t have an unbearably hideous cover, I’ll read it.

Okay, I’ll admit pristine new books are nice. There’s a certain thrill in holding a beautiful new volume and knowing that it’s only mine, that no-one else has owned it before me. But I also like holding a second-hand book and searching for traces of previous owners and wondering how it came to be in need of a home.

Aesthetically, I love second-hand books for the variety they bring to my bookshelves. Row upon row of matching new volumes would look boring; a mix of different vintages is charmingly eclectic.

Also, the need to give a homeless book is a really good excuse to buy it...

21 February 2011

The Sound of One Girl Napping

Ouch. Bad pun. (And I haven’t even read the book.)

Yes, it’s been awfully quiet around here lately. That’s because I’ve been feeling fairly awful. I’ve been plagued for weeks by some post-viral thing which has so far eluded explanation. I’ve already reduced two doctors to thinking it might be psychosomatic, and hope that when I see a specialist next week I don’t make it a hat trick.

So currently I’m not doing much of anything, aside from reading a simply enormous volume of Trollope which I hope will keep me reading long enough to make some slow headway through my review backlog before adding to it. (And making my cringe-inducing way through my first reading of last year’s NaNoWriMo first draft ... I am determined that this year I will edit it, but it’s a truly daunting prospect.)

I’ll post when I post.

08 February 2011

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from - that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

Two teasers this week! The first is from non-fiction, the second from fiction. It’s been a while since I’ve juggled two books ... but I have a still-unidentified illness and need the distraction.

And the teasers are...

The trouble was that Marie-Thérèse was dull. Uninterested in the arts, she formed a little Spanish-speaking Castilian world of her own, with her pet dogs and her equally pet dwarves, the traditional companions of a Spanish infanta as seen in Velásquez's portraits.

From Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King by Antonia Fraser, p. 63.

The four on the bench watched him go.

"Oh Lord," Beynon said, and Freya Neustadt shook her head sadly.

From The Boys from Brazil by Ira Levin, p. 49.

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Header image shows detail of A Young Girl Reading by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, c. 1776