It’s always a shame to have to report a bookshop closing its doors for the last time but sadly its happened again, this time to my favourite second hand bookshop in Nottingham, Jermy & Westerman which ceased to be the last weekend.
I wonder if my continued support would have helped, had I not been abroad for the last year and a half, which in turn fuels my need to support the remaining bookshops when I have some spare Sterling. A noble excuse for being a book junkie but the mutual enablement is pitched perfectly.
Despite being a small book space with only two floors and a few rooms there were always plenty of good books on offer over a variety of subjects. In fact being a regular I noticed there was a regular turn over of stock, to cater to the needs of the obsessive. Continue reading “Jermy & Westerman”
After my last review, I was blown away to find some unexpected and explosively good feedback left on my recent Facebook status, making all my hard work worthwhile.
Today I came across an email with the title, How many poems do you write? Quality vs Quantity. As a moderately interesting subject heading it seemed worth a couple of minutes perusal as an accompaniment to my breakfast of coffee and pandesal.
The email asked if poets and readers favour the raw poem as first written, or an edited version, which may be technically better but dilutes some of the immediacy of the original writing.
It then went on to mention that a question often asked is how do I get published in the print journals? The short and underwhelming response to that bein; nobody really knows, its all subjective, people on blogs and websites won’t be judging to anything like the same criteria as journals.
It’s a shame there was no real point to the email, as asking and then avoiding any real exploration of the question (but inviting you to hop over to the website to discuss it) just wastes everyone’s time. Continue reading “Quality or Quantity?”
Picking up my – then – latest read, Alberto Manguel’s A Reading Diary: A Year of Favourite Books, it soon became clear that I needed a new notebook to scrawl my thoughts in, such were the number. Thankfully the missus had just such a book ready for me, she knows my needs.
After the mini trauma of filling my last notebook it feels good to be able to be expansive again, as opposed to clumsily noting down phrases on a phone whose keyboard is ill suited to my fat fingers. Sadly, the joy of writing is one often marginalised in the modern technology orientated world.
Enjoying the pristine whiteness of the pages, there was just one thing I had to do first, before inking any of them. On the inside front cover the words ‘I have a dream’ were printed, so below them I added ‘this book belongs to Martin Luther King, Jr.’.
Hilarity thus achieved I left the first page – I always allow myself this small luxury in case appropriate words come to mind to place there – and the second became the start of my copious note taking.
Ploughing through book lover Manguel’s words with a happy heart, I’ve already made a page of notes, some of which will probably be left out of the review for another post – or several – musing on books. With twenty-two drafts started just this morning, words are begetting words in the best possible way.
Ways well worn
This familiar place of stone and brick
Temporal, yet not entirely material
Spectres of the past
memories distant impose themselves
On the present,
An overlay of times a world away
Recovered only in reminiscences
The bustling city
Shorn of its socialness,
A perturbing reminder of the past
Often we meet in imagination
Do I dream
Or the city?
Tales from the Inner City is a powerful reflection on the nature of existence and the urban relationship we have with the animals within our human world. From the dog to the crocodile; from the tiger to the frog, world renowned artist Shaun Tan explores the perennial love and destruction we feel and inflict on our fellow creatures.
Shaun Tan always creates enjoyable and thought-provoking work, and in Tales from the Inner City he explores nature, our co-existence – or not – with animals and how our way of life effects the natural environment around us.
This heavy, lavish hardback tome of 225 glossy pages, is full of atmospheric illustrations, each set over two pages which accompany the numerous short stories, and sharply contrast the differences in two opposing worlds and have an air of the dreamlike about them.
The stories themselves are a mixed bag in terms of their messages, some are obvious, but due to the trademark whimsy and surreal of Tan’s style, others fail as the point being made is sometimes too veiled. Despite this, I find all them enjoyable and full of depth. Continue reading “Tales from the Inner City – Shaun Tan”