Upon entering a bookstore, I let out a little content sigh...I am home.
The shops of my choice have books to the ceiling, ladders and a selection of antique leather bound volumes so beautiful that they can only be described as art. Finding these shops is not an easy task in and of itself, but I long for the days browsing them once found.
BUT, my heart truely skips a beat when across the shop I see a glimmer of gold gilded pages; the sheen, effort, and love that goes into producing such art humbles me, and I love to run my finger up the edge of the pages. Even mass produced books with gilded pages give me the same, albeit smaller rush of emotion.
I am an equal opportunity book lover as i do have many mass produced paperbacks, which I consider junk food for the brain. They are the perfect escape after a long day. Through books I can try on lives as I would shoes, and travel to far off lands. I can be wealthy, poor, migrant or native.
So thus this blog is borne, to document my obsession, wishes, and love of gilded pages.
My undying thanks to my mother, who read me more stories then I could count, and to my teachers, for the gift of reading.
My website/blog were down for awhile, now I'm back! Please be patient with me as I rebuild. Thank you for visiting!
I don't understand war. I was born at the end of the Vietnam war, lived through several wars now with powers that be in the middle east and yet still I don't understand war.
I'm sure the first war involved a caveman clubbing his neighbor over the head and stealing his food, and retribution soon followed. Wars since have often resembled to me fights over who has the right to play in a sandbox, in other words territory and who feels entitled , right or wrong.Were I to have one wish though, it would be for my utopian dream of conflict to be realized.
Imagine this if you will:
All weapons in the world are gone, and even rocks and knives can only be used for peaceful purposes. All weapons would consist of nerf plastics or utilizing water. Just imagine, squirt guns, water cannons, water balloons, and in major conflicts...tennis balls as weapons.
Picture carpet bombing with water balloons, retribution would consist of guerilla attacks, sneaking in with a super soaker when your opponent least expects it. We'd wage war for fun! The only possible injuries would be bruised bodies and bruised egos...truely, it would be poetic and silly at the same time.
The U.N would contact other nations by asking the ambassadors" Can Iraq come out and play?" . We'd look FORWARD to declarations of war! Our kids would learn to fight fair, or take a time out. If it works on the playground, I think it can work globally.
Instead, we follow in the footsteps of the first war...taking what we want from our neighbors and clubbing them over the head. Simplistic? Yes. Correct? Perhaps not, but wouldn't it be wonderful to send our kids off to war, knowing they'd come home smiling...instead of battle worn, or worse...not come home again.
I don't pretend to understand politics, policies or global issues, but I try. I often want to just thump people over the head and tell them to play nicely or take a time out. But in my quest to understand, I have purchased several books in an attempt to understand the insanity of war and conflict. Join me, maybe someday we can raise our grandkids to wage war utilizing proper super soaker techniques, and carpet bombing with water balloons.
So far today I have done nothing but feed my pets. You see, the doorbell rang, looking out the window I saw our mail lady, and with giddiness I flung open the door and found two packages, each with a book waiting for me.
They are used volumes, well cared for, which either means someone loved them greatly, or didn’t care for them at all, which I try not to think about as it hurts in a “How could you not love this” way of incredulity that always happens when I find a lovely used volume.
Add to all this that both books that arrived today are about books, and it’s official, I am a Bibliophile.
My husband buys me books as gifts usually, this year he bought me a toy for my birthday. Does he not realize the level of my addiction? Perhaps I can trade with a kid…the toy he bought me for some book the kid will never read.
So here I sit surrounded by yet more books, that are about books, sipping coffee. Life is good.
October 18, 2007
The Starter Wife, acclaimed book and mini series, is returning! Now to be a full series!
Debra Messing will reprise her role as The Starter Wife in the 10-episode USA Network series based on the original miniseries which ran last summer, and for which she received an Emmy nomination. The best news is also returning are Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott, the writing team from the miniseries, who will also exec produce the series. The series is from Universal Media Studios, 3 Arts Entertainment and McGibbon/Parriott Prods, and is based on the novel by Gigi Levangie Grazer.
October 17, 2007
And an obsession comes to an end…partially.
My ongoing obsession with my copy of the Oxford book of English Verse has borne fruit, I now know exactly who the previous owner of my book was, where she lived, and some fascinating tidbits about her life.
I contacted a historical society on the east coast who had a Mary Hanks listed on their website, sure enough, it turns out it is the very same Mary Hanks that was the previous owner of my book, and not only that…she lived an amazing life.
Below is the E-mail I received. Tenacity seems to have paid off!
Thank you for letting me know about your book. It does look it belonged
to Mary Esther (Vilas) Hanks. We have the Hanks Family papers and
photographs here in our archives, including some directly related to
For your information, Mary was born October 10, 1873 in Madison, WI the
daughter of William Freeman Fox (1840-1908) and Anna Matilda Fox
(1845-1922). William was a lawyer, who fought as an officer during the
Civil War. Later he served in President Cleveland’s cabinet as
postmaster general. Once done with that he served as a US Senator for
several terms. In a few biographical articles we have about Mary in the
archives, she remembers growing up in Washington and playing with the
Cleveland children. We have one of her dolls in our collection, a very
special Jumeau fashion doll. On October 5, 1898 she married Lucien
Hanks (1868-1950), a bank executive. The couple had three children:
William Vilas Hanks (b. 1902), Sybil Anna Hanks (1908-1969), and Lucien
Mason Hanks Jr. (1910-1988). Mary was one of the grand dames of Madison
during the first half of the 20th century. She died during December
Type in a book title, or just peruse random volumes.
Here is every book listed in the book and movie "84 Charing Cross Road".
I have attacked this list with fervor. Do not be surprised if my next entry is not by me, but by my husband, informing you that my 4th bookcase collapsed on me, yet I died with a smile on my face, surrounded by gilded pages.
This list is NOT made by me! Credit goes to Diane Gross.
A fellow HH fan, Diane Gross, has put together a list of the books and music scores that Helene ordered from the bookshop at 84 Charing Cross Road - ardent fans, take note and make your purchases!!! As Diane says, "Some don't name the authors or titles, I just wrote what I read at 3am, so you might want to double-check my entries!" Doug Wilson has made a few amendments to some entries, and provided some more information on others - and the full list follows: (Thanks to both Diane and Doug!!!)
- Austen, Jane - Pride & Prejudice
- Beloc, Hilaire - essays
- Beowulf (mentioned, but no interest in reading)
- Book Lover's Anthology
- Cassell's dictionary
- Cattulus - Loeb classic edition; (Latin text; verse trans. by Sir Richard Burton, prose trans. by Leonard Smithers--HH not a fan as the translators "cleaned up" the language)
- Chaucer - Canterbury Tales ("a modern English verison, not Old English or Anglo-Saxon")
- Chesterfield - essays
- de Coverely, Sir Roger - papers
- Delafield - Diary of a Provincial Lady
- De Tocqueville - Journey to America
- Donne, John - Complete Sermons (p.78 - FPD says the sermons an only be found in the 40-vol. complete works)
- "Elizabethan poets"
- Goldsmith - essays
- Grahame, Kenneth - Wind in the Willows (w/Sheppherd illus.)
- Greek New Testament
- Hazlitt - Selected Essays
- Horace - Loeb classic edition
- Hunt, Leigh - Essays
- Johnson on Shakespeare (Oxford pr. ed.)
- Jonson - love poems
- Lamb - Essays of Elia (MacDonald Illus. Classics); Tales from Shakespeare
- Landor, Walter Savage - Works & Life of (includes "Imaginary Conversations;" one is Aesop & Rhodope)
- Latin Bible
- Latin New Testament (Anglican Vulgate; dictionary to Vulgate)
- MacDonald Illustrated Classics
- Memoirs of (Louis the) Duke de Saint-Simon - trans. by Francis Arkwright
- Newman, John Henry - Ideas of a University
- Oxford Book of English Prose
- Oxford Book of English Verse
- Oxford Dictionary ("Shorter")
- Plato - Four Socratic dialogues (Oxford pr.)
- Plato - minor dialogues
- Pepys, Samuel - Diary
- Quiller-Couch - The Pilgrim's Way
- Sappho - Loeb classic edition
- Shaw, George Bernard - dramatic criticisms; music criticisms; correspondence with Ellen Terry; 30 vol. Standard ed. ("for a friend")
- Stevenson - Virginibus Puerisque (NOTE: Ruben Caban emailed me to let me know that the text of this book is on the web - a friend of his emailed him details of how to find it: ON-LINE Books Page - "click on the "Search our 6000+ listings" and enter the Author and Title and there it is". Many thanks to Ruben and his friend Paul for this info!)
- Tristram Shandy (MacDonald Illus. Classics)
- Walton - Compleat Angler, Lives
- Woolf, Virginia - Common Reader (2 vols)
- Wyatt - love poems
WASHINGTON (AP) -- There it sits on your nightstand, that book you've meant to read for who knows how long but haven't yet cracked open. Tonight, as you feel its stare from beneath that teetering pile of magazines, know one thing -- you are not alone.
Women are more avid readers than men, a new poll says.
One in four adults say they read no books at all in the past year, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll released Tuesday. Of those who did read, women and seniors were most avid, and religious works and popular fiction were the top choices.