11 May 2013

Companion Reading

My goodness but I have been a selfish reader lately but Simon's post has given me the push I needed to log on and do some reciprocating.

As far as books and reading go the past couple of weeks have been quite wonderful as my enthusiasm for Elizabeth Bowen has roped in a convert.  Our most recent employee at the library and I were chatting about authors and once I had finished delivering a dramatic presentation about the beauty of Bowen's prose she disappeared into the stacks.  Having someone make their excuses is the risk you take whenever you enthusiastically persuade someone to see things the way you do.  But Ashley wasn't discouraged at all, in fact, she reappeared holding a copy of The Death of the Heart and Eva Trout.  The opportunity was too important to miss so I suggested a read-along right then and there and she agreed!

Stealing moments before shift change or when the circulation desk is devoid of customers, Ashley and I blissfully chat away about characters, plot, London scenery and Bowen.  Let the return bins overflow I say!  Perhaps it's a good thing that Ashley and I are not constant work companions.  We're working together later on this afternoon and I'm quite near the end so perhaps we can squeeze in the shortest of book club meetings at break-time between bites of banana bread.


Other bookish excitement is another installment of 'Rescued from the Bin' (previous find).  Most of what ends up in the discard bin at the library is ratty paperbacks or the donation of various bodice-rippers and old magazines but every now and then there is a massive gem.  Spying the bright white, barely-been-looked-at leaves of a whopping huge hardcover I pulled it from the box - oh happy day!  Once the hallelujah chorus stopped playing and my happy dance was over I felt faint at the thought of what could have happened if I hadn't stopped for a peek; The Reader's Companion to the Twentieth Century Novel may have been thrown in a recycling bin or gone to someone else (extreme selfishness but oh well).  There was an industrious hour spent meticulously picking away at the residue from two sticky labels but time well spent if you ask anyone with mild OCD.  At over 700 pages there is enough mouth-watering reading material here about novels from the twentieth-century to satisfy the most avid of fans and I love dipping in and out at bedtime.  Check with your local library for a copy, if it's not a reference item you can drool over it at home.  The gorgeous painting on my edition is: Girl Reading, 1930 by Adrian Allinson (1890 - 1959).

My thoughts on The Death of the Heart will be posted next week and apologies for the long absences between posts, I savour books in a ridiculous way.   

6 comments:

  1. That is a gem of a find, indeed! Lucky you, for netting it. Do try and share snippets from it if you come across any delightful bits in your reading. Would love to know what's in there! :)

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    1. There's a tidbit in my next post, Michelle! This is a book to take with you if you plan on being deserted on an island. Way too heavy for bathtub reading though...

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  2. Oh I really want to read more Elizabeth Bowen & I love the sound of your impromptu work book club.

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    1. Oh yes and we quietly curse the customers who approach the desk while we're waxing lyrical! We are so bad.

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  3. Oh Darlene, I wish we had librarians like you and Ashley in my part of the world. I'm a selfish, anti social reader but I miss the days when I could go onto the library and find staff talking about books. We have council staff working their way up the ladder these days sadly.

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    1. Then it won't shock you to find out I've learned more about books from bloggers such as yourself than from working in a library! It's all business, business, business it seems and all I want to do is talk about reading. Don't tempt me to come over there, Jane, oh the fun we could have!

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