Friday, 31 July 2015

Books, books and even more books!

One of the disadvantages of coming home, after a long period away, is the pile of mail waiting for you - a big shaggy pile of junk, bills, notifications, magazines and jiffy bags. This time was no exception.  I haven't been at home for more than two or three days at a stretch since the end of April, so the pile was substantial.  But the up-side has been the contents of the jiffy bags.  Books!!!!

Alice Jolly's wonderful, heart-breaking memoir 'Dead Babies and Seaside Towns' was one of the first to be pulled from the pile.  I read the first, addictive paragraphs and put it on one side for a proper read.  Then Kim Moore's new poetry collection, The Art of Falling, which I've been eagerly anticipating ever since it was published. And then I opened an envelope and Earthlines tumbled out - a beautiful magazine of environmentally related prose, poetry and stunning images - to find my own poem sequence about Emily Carr, Between the Forest and the Sea, laid out on a two page spread in the middle.

Other treats included the poetry magazine The Moth, which I've recently subscribed to. It is visually in a class of its own and the content is always varied and stimulating. I'm enjoying it very much and will probably keep up my subscription. At only £6.00 it's very affordable.

There were also lots and lots of books for research - all the way through my Canadian trip people kept recommending things I should read - many of them only available in North America. Fortunately Abe Books can find virtually anything second hand.  I found myself buying things from the Thrift Bookstore in the US for only a few dollars plus a few dollars postage.  They all arrived in the UK before I did.  It pains me, as an author, to buy second hand books that pay no royalties to the writer, but many of these books were out of print and only available second hand.  Others were university press published at prices only institutions can afford. That kind of publication does no service to the author at all.

Now, I'd better get off the computer and do something more useful than blogging! I have a lot of work to do over the summer and a book to write, but I'm also planning an orgy of reading. That puts a big smile on my face!

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