Thursday, April 23, 2009

Books and reading

I guess it is a result of being a retired teacher and librarian but I have far too many books. I hate getting rid of them. Even when working, weeding the collection was not a favourite pasttime.

I now have the problem of moving to New Zealand so must reduce my collection. A few months ago I managed to throw out many of the Geography textbooks I used in the 70's as well as about 30 years worth of National Geographics. I gave away to a good home all my Librarian magazines and books on Librarianship.

In order to have my main bedroom painted I recently had to shift my collection of gay novels and fantasy books. I have kept the gay novels but most of the fantasy books are going to the local second hand bookshop to see what I can get. Mainly Robert Jordan but some Terry Brooks although I have kept his Shannara series which I loved. I do not know if I will ever get round to reading them again but you never know.
I will probably get rid of my Morris West but cannot bear to part with the Jean Plaidy.

When I retired I set about buying the two authors which I loved while in primary school. I bought, mainly on Ebay, all the Billabong series by Mary Grant Bruce and these were also read by my Mother and Sister. They are very Australian and set in the 1910s and 20's. I cannot get rid of them.
I also bought all the Arthur Ransome "Swallows and Amazons" series about children in the 1930's sailing in various areas of England. I have not finished reading them again and am currently reading "Pigeon post". They are still in print so I bought all the ones I did not have from my school days.
When I became a school librarian in the 1990's I was very amused at the different style of writing for school age these days.

I am trying not to buy any more books at the moment but just received from Amazon 'A priest's tale' by Fr Donald Dodman. I put this on my wish list many months ago and do not know how I discovered it except it was through blogs so someone may help me. I moved it from the wish list and ordered it along with "Reasonable and Holy: Engaging Same-sexuality" by Tobias Stanislas Haller.
The idea was to reduce shipping costs which can be more than 25% of the book cost to Australia but Amazon have sent it separately at no extra cost to me.

'A priest's tale' will have to wait until I finish 'Pigeon post' and more importantly "The constant gardener" by le Carre which is on loan from the local library. As an ex-librarian I could not be late returning :-)
I am not a fan of mystery but last week I heard a repeat broadcast of an interview with le Carre (David Cornwell) at the time of the publication of "The constant gardener".
I then headed to do business at the council offices and dropped into the library upstairs to see if they had any le Carre. They had one - 'The constant gardener" so I took that as an omen and borrowed it.

I have also have by my bed "When in doubt, sing' by Jane Redmont which is also blog recommended but sadly have not got very far with it. I have a bad habit of falling asleep when reading in bed and spend far too much of my other time reading the newspaper and blogs.

I recently finished reading 'Reflections in glass" by Archbishop Peter Carnley, now retired but at the time of writing Archbishop of Perth and Primate of Australia. It was full of scathing commentary on the theology and activities of the Diocese of Sydney so I enjoyed it thoroughly.


June Butler said...

Brian, my personal collection of books badly needs weeding, and I'm still buying more books. Tobias' book is ordered already and will ship when available.

I like to read Jane's book in small doses. I seem to get more out of it that way.

God bless you in your work of weeding. It's quite a difficult job for me, too.

Brian R said...

Yes, I have yet to meet a librarian who enjoys weeding. Library assistants are a different breed however. My friend who worked with me for many years recently visited and would have delighted in throwing half my books out. We had differences when we worked, she would collect a pile of books to remove and I usually put at least half back on the shelf. She tells me her present boss is worse. :-)