Tag Archives: Books

Mud, conkers, collecting, and respecting books.

Mud, conkers, collecting, and respecting books.

This is from my daughter’s nursery activities newsletter for the week.

I could not have designed a better activity programme myself. Mud, conkers, collecting, and respecting books.

 

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Filed under Oxford: The Perspiring Dream

The most expensive book sales of December

Each month ABEBooks produce a list of their most expensive sales… its an interesting distraction. December’s most expensive list spans from the 15th to the 20th century. The oldest and most expensive item was a single leaf from the first edition of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales which sold for £6,818. This fine piece of incunabula is one of the most sought-after works of Middle English writing.

However, the most interesting item included may be a sequence of photos of the notorious French criminal Jacques Mesrine who was responsible for multiple bank robberies, jail breaks, burglaries, murders, and kidnappings in France and Canada. Mesrine’s crimes read like a Hollywood script: robbing multiple banks in a single day, holding a real estate mogul for a 6 million Franc ransom, attempting to kidnap a judge who had once sentenced him to prison, escaping a crime scene by running out of a surrounded building (past police) yelling “Quick! Mesrine’s up there!” as he got away, and of course the multiple jail breaks. Mesrine’s eventual demise was also in Hollywood fashion; police were finally able to track him by means of a woman thought to be his mistress. The two of them were heading out of town for a weekend in the country when police boxed their car in at the entrance to an intersection and opened fire, shooting Mesrine 15 times. Throughout his escapades he earned the title of Public Enemy #1 in France. [I have plundered this from the ABE newsletter, so do go and check them out yourself… they are good people.]

And what a good word… ‘incunabula’

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Filed under Photography, Timology

To reach the top…

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The covers of this book are too far apart…

This is a really good article written by a chap who has dumped his iPhone gizmo for a luddite love affair with literature. Pah! What a total fool. Everyone knows that phones are cool, and make you attractive to the opposite sex. Books are just for losers who did not get a kindle for Christmas. 

“I could easily spend three straight hours on my phone without even noticing. If I’d spent three straight hours watching TV, I would be disgusted with myself. But I was convinced that the Internet was more edifying than television—even though most of my online diet consisted of gossipy garbage—because it was “interactive.” I couldn’t possibly be a zombie, because everyone knows zombies don’t comment and share.”

Read the whole article here.

*If I flatter myself I could assume that people who dont know me well might actually read this blog… I should therefore clarify that I love books. I love books more possibly than any other material object. Their nourishing kindness, learning, amusement, forgiveness, and the sheer pleasure in owning them. Like Jan Morris said, “book lovers will understand me, and they will know too that part of the pleasure of a library lies in its very existence.” Sadly I also think that iPhones are also cool, and so am in total disagreement with (but sneaking admiration for) the thrust of the article. While I could live without my phone, it would all be rather pointless without books. The two make a formidable tool, but perhaps the author of the article’s point is that he simply forgot that they are different things for different purposes. It’s sad that he had for forgo one in order to value the other.

(Sent from my iPhone)

(no, not really… thats beyond me…) 

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