I had an interesting day earlier this week. I had to drive out to Bayswater and on the way back I stopped for a rather late lunch and a glance in an op shop. I didn’t stay long as I was running so late with the funeral finishing rather late, but I took time enough to take a couple of photos.
We used to be patient, quietly waiting for something to arrive in the post or to arrive in our bookshop or slowly saving up money to move out of home or saving up money to buy furniture and using hand-me-downs or just making do while we waited but credit cards and then the internet has changed things dramatically. Now we expect to get whatever we want whenever we want it and pay later. We can’t know the future, we can try to predict but it’s impossible to know so carefully saving up makes much more sense than paying off the goods later. While saving you know how much you have and how much you can save each week, paying the goods off later is much harder to predict as life is so unpredictable you can quite easily lose your job or have health problems which cost enormous amounts and make it hard to pay back your loan.
Actually, sometimes we weren’t so patient but we still had to wait. Charles Dickens understood that and he serialised his books, all 15 of them. Nowadays we just head off to our local bookshop or let our fingers do the walking to our nearest internet book site to buy the whole book and we can read it in one sitting if we so desire. In Dickens’ time they had to wait and people in New York would come to the docks to watch the boats come in and would shout out questions about Little Dorrit or Little Nell as they’d waited so long for this instalment.
Making people wait for the next instalment is a marvellous marketing strategy and JK Rowling knew this and as she was on a winner she and her publishers made the most of it, hyping up the enthusiasm with opening of the boxes ceremonies and encouraging of queues outside bookshops…actually, this should happen more often, books are wonderful creatures and make you more than you are, but I digress as I’m talking about instalments and waiting rather than anything else.
This photo is of a couple of books on my shelf. Many years ago I picked these books up at the shop. They are Nicholas Nickleby as they were first published, in instalments and with the original ads that would have accompanied them. It would be a fascinating way of reading the book and Pigeonhole will help you do just that with other titles. I found this article today about them and wandered over to the website in bemusement. It’s a new endeavour, I only found six books but they tell you how many people are reading that title. Each title has a stave released weekly and if you join at the beginning you get to read one stave per week, if you join later on you get all the staves up to that point and then weekly as everyone else. They encourage people to discuss the book as you go just as people used to do in Dickens’ time. I’m struggling to keep up with my reading and have just committed myself to read for various authors and publishers so it’s something I won’t be signing up for, should you sign up for Pigeonhole I’d appreciate if you could write me something about the experience.
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby containing a faithful account of the fortunes, misfortunes, uprisings, downfallings and complete career of the Nickelby Family edited by “Boz.” with illustrations by “Phiz.”
I couldn’t find this particular edition for sale but in case you haven’t had your fix of Dickens’ recently I’ll send you to this lovely edition of Nicholas Nickelby which happens to have lots of useful stuff including endnotes and footnotes. Or this book which will support your reading of any Dickens’ novel he wrote, it has synopses, timelines, scenes with quotes and traditional colour images.
NB: I’m aware of the irony of talking about waiting while sending you to a website which will send you the book in only a few days.
Everyone says…don’t you just love the ‘everyone says’ phrase? Who is ‘everyone’? It’s so non-specific and I’ve heard people put it into conversation to try and strengthen their case. In this case ‘everyone’ is a lot of people, those who do personal training in the gym, in the emotional side of things, people who help others to improve themselves and the ubiquitous ‘lots more’ as I’m struggling to define the types of people who make up ‘everyone says’ in this case. I’m talking about pushing boundaries.
I have been told by so many people from so many different walks of life that pushing boundaries is good for you that if you do things that are outside your normal life then you’ll improve yourself. I’m not quite sure what I’m aiming to improve here but things can only get better. One of the boundaries I’m pushing with myself here is to get in front of the camera more often and make myself more comfortable there. Why? Not really sure, ‘because I can’ is probably the best answer I have for you. What has this to do with books? The answer there is ‘sometimes’.
I first started making videos to support selling the part-work magazines. I wanted to have some way of showing off the magazines, demonstrating what they were and how many there were. I spent a few minutes with the camera beside me aimed at my hands showing off the magazines. Here is one example:
So uncomfortable with even this so I stopped doing them for quite some time. I used videos on and off, mostly off, and I’m now going to try and do some semi-regular videos. Some will involve books and some won’t, it just depends on what takes my fancy. This next one I released into the wilds last week.
This last one I’m inflicting on you now is something that made me sit up and think. It’s all in the video so I’ll let my voice rather than my fingers do the talking:
I very sad this year. Came back to Bindi alone, no family, no friends, Philippa not here. Greg all excited see me! Tell me Philippa coming soon then tell me she not come. She go with family to different place, some place called Noosa. We go with Hamish and Amanda. Long drive in car! Car exciting place to be, goes zooooommm very fast! Good see Philippa again. I try not cause trouble but it hard being in bag all time, need get out and move. Need food!
Went on boat to island, more nimbins there. My family not there, very sad. They excited see me, came on boat back to Noosa see more. They not understand about people, made lots mess, took lots food from people. Wanted go back to island not want people see them. I taught reading, writing. Told Philippa, Greg about other Nimbins. Took them long time understand me. When they did I had help other Nimbins be caught for trip to island. They happy see island again.
Philippa Greg tell family about me. I get go home with Philippa! Car! Philippa!
I couldn’t find Catching the Nimbin for you to buy but I found The Bunyip of Berkeley’s Creek at Booktopia.
Not sure how this book got there but I found it on my To Be Read Pile. I sometimes suspect someone puts them there while I’m not looking, either that or I do it myself and simply forget. Having found it there I thought I’d read it and see how I go.
This book is a series of articles by eminent scientists of the day including two by Arthur C. Clarke, published in 1962 it’s even older than me and looking far more ragged. Each article has been republished from a previous publication and has often been reduced to make it fit the pages or to simplify it for younger readers, not sure which.
As some of the articles stem back to 1929 the science in them could be rather outdated but some of the principles remain the same. The editor presents you with the article and then some activities, questions and further reading. I found some of rather interesting and some my brain just skated right over…I suspect that’s a problem with me not understanding, nor being really interested in, science. An example of the age is in the article ABC of the Atom by J. Bronowski, he talks about 103 known elements, there are now 114!
If you look at this photo you can see an example of some of the further reading and discussion you can do after reading the article on outer space. When this article was originally written in 1958 most of this list hadn’t happened yet and now most of them have. It would be interesting to do some research to find out when each had happened, or in the case of Venus and Mars commenced. I’d be interested to see what people would add to this list of outer space activities they’d like to see, comments below please!
There is an article about eyes and vision. Without doing lots of further reading and at risk of having my eyes glaze over with an overload of science I haven’t checked if it’s out of date. It did help explain about shortsightedness and astigmatism so I now have a better understanding of what my glasses do for my vision and why they help.
The Silver Brumby by Elynne Mitchell is one of my all-time favourite Australian series. They’re a fabulous set of books about horses in mountains in NSW from the horse’s point of view. I know they’re children’s books but can be great for adults as well. Here’s the link so you can buy it for yourself or a friend…or even family.
Some of you have noticed I’ve added affiliate marketing into this blog. It’s interesting how I’ve come full circle from using this blog to support selling on this website to now selling books to support the blog.
For those new to this story this is what happened.
I started selling pre-loved books on eBay, 2006 I decided I wanted my own website so I commissioned one. Some might say it wasn’t the smartest move but I wasn’t really website savvy and only picked up enough information to make my own after discovering WordPress wasn’t really that hard. 2009 I decided the website needed some SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) support and started a blog. The original one is out there somewhere in the ether but every article was imported here. The writing was rather raw and I had little idea of what I was doing but thanks to some business coaching I had a cache of ideas for articles. That cache expanded and I’m rarely stuck for ideas.
A couple of years later I’d had enough of having a blog and a commercial website, the blog was starting to do better than the selling of books and I gradually came around to the idea of wanting to write more than wanting to sell. My books all found new homes…somewhere other than my garage and I started trying to concentrate more on writing and doing little things here in my little home. I still have some part-work magazines here and if there’s something you want please ask and I’ll see if I have it, readers will receive a discount or free postage.
I’ve changed the theme on occasion and am wondering if it’s time to do so again. Every home needs a face lift from time to time and it’s something I’m thinking about here. I need to somehow change the header so it doesn’t show me as selling pre-loved books, I’m getting bored with the layout and there is the odd thing I want to do that just doesn’t work the way I want it to. Maybe it’s time to pay someone so I get what I want and need. Something new and funky maybe with that old style look of sitting down with a book and a cuppa of something soothing.
I’m also looking at my age and wondering at what stage I’ll ‘retire’ from paid work so as to be able to go on trips with the OH. If you’re going to ask my age, don’t bother as the answer you’ll get is 18, don’t care if you ask me 20 times you’ll still get the same answer just like the guy at the market last Saturday, he didn’t give up but neither did I. In order to ‘retire’ I’m trying to create an income that happens even when I’m not at home.
What I’m leading to in a very round-about way is a disclaimer. Recently I instituted affiliate marketing, I know some people have noticed as I’ve seen the clicks happening, basically, if you click on one of my links and buy at that website I will receive a percentage. I will take care to only link to books I recommend, if I don’t recommend it I won’t link to it. There may possibly be other items, I’m considering if I’ll request affiliation with one or more travel companies but I’m not entirely happy with the companies I’ve seen. To make it fairly obvious from now on I’ll put a little comment at the end of the article to show you where you’re going.
I have been more than remiss with this book. It was given to me almost a year ago following meeting the author in Boston and it’s taken me most of that time to have the fortitude to open it. I was right as it is most challenging to read. The writing is nicely done, commas, apostrophes and words are all correct it’s just the subject matter being that of the Holocaust which made it so hard to open and read. Let me take you on a journey to explain.
Ellen Cassedy has both Jewish and non-Jewish roots, the non-Jewish come from Ireland, England, and Bavaria while her Jewish mother’s side comes from Lithuania. After her mother died she found herself missing the sound of Yiddish and after a period of study she learned about an intensive Yiddish summer program being offered so she went back to Lithuania to spend a few weeks immersed in Yiddish.
Whilst preparing for her trip she was given a troubling family story and she felt she had to try to verify it’s truth if at all possible and find out more details. This book is her journey back to Vilnius, Lithuania to study Yiddish and find out so much about the Holocaust that she didn’t know to find out how her family had been involved and to find many more stories that are challenging to hear about.
I finished this book a couple of weeks ago and have read a number of other books in the interim but just as I found it hard to start it I also found it hard to even begin to write about it. Even now I’m reeling from remembering some of the stories. How much do I put in here? Do I put in some of the horror stories of mass murder in Lithuania or do I just leave them out and gently suggest some of these stories could be found in horror books?
Do I put in some of her family stories about surviving in the Ghetto? They’re of a similar nature to the stories of mass murder and I don’t know how to write about them. In this case I should probably give a few details then leave the rest to you when you read the book. Ghettos were created so Jews could be walled off, the people were not given enough food or water and had to request permission to leave the walls for jobs, there were curfews which were very strict, if you were caught out after curfew you were generally shot, these Ghettos existed throughout several European countries during WWII. Some of the inhabitants were volunteered to be Policemen of the Ghetto, and some may have volunteered themselves in order to save themselves, this was a thankless task and there are many stories detailed in the pages of this book.
Truth is often worse than fiction and nothing fits this phrase more than the Holocaust. We keep saying ‘never again’ but then genocides keep happening in other countries. We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust makes these truths quite clear and we should take the lesson and stop genocide happening again.
This, this is my story. But it is also the story of so many others: eddy, Emerald, Georgie and more. You should read my story in its entirety, Jane Langton has detailed it so excitingly in the book pictured below.
They had great hearts and protected me from danger so, in return, when need arose I returned the favour. Much showed on my leaves, so many stories, so many lives, so many cultures, theirs was just one story but an important one. I admire a good story as I should when so many combine to make up the whole.
After that man left the place I was growing I helped the town and did much good. Things were never the same but that is good as things should never stay the same.
I borrowed this book hoping to be able to use it for a Mondayitis, it certainly has possibilities with a greenhouse or the missing pane of glass from the greenhouse or I could be really silly and use the hole from the missing pane of glass, all of these would make great opportunities for Mondayitis.
I’m not, though, I think it’s a wonderful book and here’s why:
The parenting is done by one person, the father. There are increasing numbers of books with sole parents but so few of them have just a dad. Even when I was young there was the occasional book with a sole parent and the general rule was that the parent was the mum, I’ll just cite Carbonel for example. Also, the dad works from home so he works hard but they don’t have to worry about babysitters or being latch key kids.
This is all about change and how children cope with it. The family have recently moved into a new house and they’re adding a new room so the two children don’t have to share. There are so few books where the male and female children have to share a bedroom and this is one of those few. They are fairly young children and the issue barely explored as the focus is on the building of the new room.
The children make friends with the builders, not immediately as each child is different. Cassie is first as she is more outgoing but Ben gets there eventually. Their friendship is close enough that when they see Ben’s drawings their interest and their buying one picture gives Ben much encouragement so he starts drawing in the playground leading to him becoming very popular as everyone wants a portrait of themselves.
Leading me nicely to my next point. Ben is trying to fit in with his classmates but he has a problem as they all seem to be interested in playing football and he has my skills when it comes to kicking a ball i.e. fairly non-existent. This causes him to be left out when they’re choosing sides, he has trouble dealing with this and his dad being too busy to notice a problem doesn’t help. It’s only when the builder notices his drawing skills and buys one that he gets the courage to stop being worried by not being chosen for a team and starts drawing in the playground that things change and football becomes a non-issue.
So, all of this leads me to recommend it as a great book to read with your young child. I’d say it’s aimed at lower primary aged children but it would be a good book for your slightly older child to read to a younger sibling and learn some lessons.