Saturday, August 15, 2009

Book Purchase

I spent yesterday at the NSW Writers' Centre, one of my favourite places in the world.

Inspired, I drove afterwards to Berkelouw Books on Oxford Street and bought these three books:

Bill Bryson's Dictionary for Editors and Writers

The Uncommon Reader: A Novella - Alan Bennett

Talking it Over - Julian Barnes

Bill Bryson's Dictionary is a reference tool, and I am allowing myself to buy writing books at the moment. It seems sensible, if I am going to try to write for a living.

The Uncommon Reader was an impulse buy. I like the concept. The Queen, never having been a big reader, happens upon the Windsor travelling library while she is walking the dogs on the grounds of the palace. Having entered the library, it would surely be rude to leave without borrowing something. And so she does. And gradually she becomes obsessed with books. To the point where it is bad for the monarchy - she shows up other heads of state with her knowledge of their national authors and her staff descend into crisis trying to curb her fiendish reading.

I liked the concept so much, in fact, that I bought the hardcover version. It's such a little book. The difference in price was only $5. I was able to justify it to myself. And I'm pleased I did. I've already started reading it.

My writing teacher has used Julian Barnes as an example of good writing a number of times and yesterday we read an excerpt of Flaubert's Parrot. I loved it. So I was determined to buy some Barnes. Only there was none in the fiction section downstairs at Berkelouws, so I headed up the stairs to trawl happily through second hand fiction. Even there only one Barnes stood on the shelf. That's the one I bought.

If it is good I will buy more on Amazon. Or the Nile.

I already have other books on order from both of those sites, I'm such a glutton.

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