Thursday, March 05, 2009

World Book Day!

It's world book day today, I've no idea what this means but there was an enjoyable article in the Guardian about it and the books we claim we read but don't.

However it was this that caught my attention.

The days of embossed leather bookmarks are of course long gone and 62% of people in the poll admitted they turn the corner of the page to keep their place. "I consider that mutilation," said Simon. "I would never do that, what's wrong with using bookmarks - tickets, pieces of paper?"


The other week a few of us were discussing this very thing. The Paramour puts books down flat and open. My other chum WRITES on her books, and folds the pages. I nearly had to get the smelling slats out. I place a bookmark in my books when I close them, no matter how tired.

Anyway, who would I read that I might consider a guilty pleasure? No one actually, I read what I like, no guilt involved, but I tell you what, I am currently struggling to finish In the Name of The Rose, and since this is my second attempt I will finish the damned thing.
Do you have a touch of the guilts over books? Hide your Cecila Aherne's behind your Flann O'Brien's? Own up now.

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64 Comments:

Blogger morgor said...

I don't really have the whole guilt thing either, but the trashiest things I read are short sci-fi or fantasy novels.

Like warhammer 40k books or david gemmell novels.

Enjoyable and often forgettable but I enjoy them.

9:03 a.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

cheap books i don't mind folding the pages, but for anything i've paid more than €15 for I usually have a scrap of paper or something.

9:04 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Most books are so expensive these days.

* notices I sound just like Gamma*

9:15 a.m.  
Blogger Manuel said...

yes....yes I tend to read Carl Hiaasen in the house and PG Wodehouse out of the house. But I really like Carl Hiaasen....even after that stinky Striptease movie....

10:12 a.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

No real embarrasing books (apart from the feckin Da Vinci Code), but I studied Romanticism in uni and loved it, so my bookshelf looks relatively respectable.
Everytime I buy Paradise Lost tho it always gets nicked. I've seriously gone through 5 copies in as many years.

10:27 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I loved Stiptease the book and laughed my way through it! Not sure it translated to the big screen, and Demi...well, then there was Demi.

Oh Sheepie, I'd forgotten about Dan Brown's wretched book. I read that lying in a park in Barcelona, I admit I felt slightly grubby afterwards. But honestly, it was EVERYWHERE.

10:46 a.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Usually I close them and remember the page number. Sometimes I stick a bit of paper in and very occasionally I leave 'em open flat and upside down, though I'm wary of damaging the spine.

No guilt over anything I read although I'm sometimes left feeling a bit 'off' after reading 'bestsellers', like the Dan Browns, because the writing is soooo bad.

10:47 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I like your style Conan, and envy it slightly. I'd never remember the page number.

Despite my care of books, I confess I once threw a James Patterson book across a room in utter disgust. Most unlike me.

11:01 a.m.  
Anonymous Babs said...

I use a bookmark that was made for me by my old boyfriend when I was in college. It's a love heart cut out of red card. I know - utter vomit but it was so sweet at the time. I use it still even though I haven't seen him in about 5 years. I thought I lost it a few weeks back and went mad looking for it so it obviously holds some sentimental value I was unaware of until then!

I mark the paper with my fingernail if I am mid-chapter and then place the bookmark between the pages. I hate the ticking the page thing with a vengeance.

I am addicted to books about drug addiction and alcoholism at the moment, I also like non fiction. I can't really deal with all that lighthearted bullshit that you get from the "easy readers" as my Mam calls them when she says "Why do you always get those heavy books in the library - we go together - would you not get an easy reader and relax for a change". How sweet!

11:14 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I like a mix of fiction and fact too. I love books on English and writing, and quote books, I have a goodly number of quote books.
Glad you found your bookmark, nothing more annoying that losing something you treasure.

11:29 a.m.  
Blogger Rosie said...

i crack the spine, fold the pages, scribble in the margins and hold them open with mugs of tea or once, memorably, a plate of curry.

that didn't end so well.

i like my books to look well-thumbed.

12:11 p.m.  
Anonymous Babs said...

I do have some books that I have underlined passages in that I really liked. Namely in Ernest Hemmingway's "Men Without Women". I forgot about that!

I am so glad that I found it too, it was under my bed in among the dust and hair bobbins! I thought that I had left it in a book I had brought back to the library.

12:18 p.m.  
Blogger Sweary said...

I have a much worse confession to make.

I don't read.

Oh, I used to. I used to devour books like Mary Harney devours all the pies, but now every time I start a book I end up throwing it away in a fit of rage that something so badly written could ever get published, or, in my more mellow moments, I get the red pen out and start editing it for the benefit of... well, myself and my ire, I suppose.

Seriously, even the good stuff is utter shite these days.

I'll make an exception for Pratchett, because he's magnificent - no airs, no graces, not the best writer, but possibly the best storyteller alive today.

Other than Pratchett, there's my enduring admiration for Bill Bryson, and I keep coming back to Wuthering Heights and Watership Down.

I suppose I'm just a crotchety old bitch. Oh, and I leave books open and flat too.

12:27 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mary Harney is just "big boned".

I'm not even sure she likes pies?

12:31 p.m.  
Blogger Andraste said...

Ooooh...books, my favorite topic.

I haven't read a novel in ages though. Well, except that I'm currently reading a piece of fictional trash called the bible - made fun of it for years, and will not suddenly stop being an atheist, but will now have even MORE arguments for not believing. Reading that one in the house - out of the house I'm reading Stephen Jay Gould's "Mismeasure of Man." Brilliant, of course.

I always use a bookmark. However, I have been known to scribble notes (in pencil) in the blank end pages of a book, if it leads me to other books or references authors or works I want to remember and look up later.

I did once throw a book across a room - which Martin Amis novel is the one where he introduces himself as a character? Was it "Success"? Then I found out Kingsley did the same thing and felt really cool.

Guilty pleasure: Harry Potter. Not guilty in the least. They're good, escapist fun. Shut up.

I'm also with Sweary entirely about Watership Down and Wuthering Heights. I re-read both every few years. The Scarlet Letter always has something new to show me in each read...I'll only leave them flat open if they're mass market paperbacks.

I could go on for days...but I'll stop now. Maybe I'll say more later.

Oooooh....books....

12:39 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I went through a non reading phase too Sweary, it was not long after I read a Kath Reichs book that had an actual monkey island in it as plot link. It was a true jump the shark moment.
Medbh introduce me to David Sedaris, and I'm eternally grateful to her for it. He tickles me something rosy.

Watership Down is a beautiful book, I cried reading it. I also cried reading Black Beauty, when Ginger died.

1:15 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Rosie, no! That's exactly how the paramour treats them. I can't bear to watch how he brutalises them so.

Babs, good grief! What's the largest library fine you've even incurred?

1:18 p.m.  
Blogger OSLO said...

I'll admit to folding the corner when I can't be bothered to get out of bed and find something other than another book to mark a page, but I always hesitate until the millisecond of guilt feel about folding the paper disappears. I write on books I love too; mark passages that resonate and which I wish I was capable of writing myself. I think of this not as mutilation but as adoration; I go back a re-read the beautiful bits of prose I've marked.
Can't imagine not reading; can't sleep without at least a few pages in bed.

1:36 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

More scribblers! Wow, I never realised it was so widespread.
Agree on the reading at night, Oslo, I wouldn't be able to drop off without reading first. It just wouldn't be right.

1:41 p.m.  
OpenID grimsaburger said...

I used to write in books when I was still taking courses because underlining plus using post-its to mark pages took less time than taking actual notes in a notebook. And when my reading schedule involved 5-7 heavy duty history books plus a half dozen articles a week, time was of the essence.

As for guilty pleasures, I'm reading a couple mid-weight popular histories right now, and I still feel the need to rationalize, like "I'm learning how to be a more fluid writer!" Because I must always be learning something, lest the university completely waste its stipend on me.

I did read that Dan Brown trash, though, and I've never felt so insulted after reading anything. The back of the shampoo bottle has more class.

1:44 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

It was like a cold virus though Grims, everyone seemed to have it.

1:48 p.m.  
Blogger Sweary said...

WHY DID YOU HAVE TO REMIND ME ABOUT GINGER?!?!

That's it. I'm ruined for the day now.

2:30 p.m.  
Anonymous ahaley74 said...

Guilty Pleasure - Harry Potter. Because it's not just something I've read but something I LOVE.
And I am guilty of turning down corners and writing in my books. These are MY books and I would never dream of getting rid of any even though my husband seems to fear they will eventually take over the entire house.
I also love Terry Pratchett, although I don't feel a bit guilty about that and I am trying to collect his entire series in first editions. I will NOT be turning down corners and writing in those...

3:03 p.m.  
Blogger daisy mae said...

if it's a hardcover book, or a book that i'm borrowing, i never blemish the pages - and get mad when it happens.

but i also read a lot of paperback books that i pick up second hand - and i'll fold corners or maybe scribble a little bit.

but more than that i really enjoy when someone else has written in the margins, or the blank pages at the end of the book... occasionally there's something interesting to read there as well.

3:08 p.m.  
Anonymous problemchildbride said...

Harry Potter.

I'm hard on books too. I bookmark them usually, but I often write all over them (in pencil mind you, but still, I'm writing in them). Right now I'm reading a biography of Samuel Johnson and almost every page has something written on it. It might just be the definition of a word I didn't know or a wee reminder of how old he was when Meyers is relating something about him - to keep my head straight and unmuddled when the narrative jumps about over decades - stuff like that; or it might be just a sort of reaction to what I'm reading, marking out something that seems extra interesting that I might want to find again. Fiction, I don't do it so much with, but non-fiction I'm all over the page with my scribbling.

3:12 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

I have a system of checks, stars and lines to highlight important sections and I write in the margins. Then there's toast crumbs littered in the pages.

The only books I'm careful with are the autographed copies.

I don't have any books I'm ashamed of reading. I'd never buy anything like Dan Brown's book because I can't imagine what I'd get from it that I didn't already discover at 18.

3:42 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

There's no guilt involved, but I do so love the James Herriot books. So quaint, so lovely and they makes me laugh out loud.

I can't believe there are so many scribbles and page folders out there.

5:10 p.m.  
Anonymous ahaley74 said...

I LOVE James Herriot as well FMC. I wanted to be a vet when I grew up and someone got me a set of his books when I was a teen. I read and re-read them. Funny now, but back then I had never seen the name Siegfried and I ran around talking about SAGE FRIED to anyone who would listen...

7:17 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Heh, I spent many a happy afternoon lost in the Yorkshire Dales.
I love mispronounced words, sign of a young reader I think. You learn the word without ever speaking it.
You should have heard the way I pronounced cacophony for years and adamant. It was 'ca-ca-phoney.' and 'adam-ant' Le sigh.

7:25 p.m.  
Anonymous problemchildbride said...

Greyfriars Bobby and Black Beauty I could never finish on account of the convulsive sobbing I was doing over them. Watership Down I must have read before I knew how cute, furry death would affect me. I love that book though. It's been too many years since I've read that. Think that's next on the list to read to the girls. Glad you brought it up, Sweary-gal.

Terry Pratchett is not someone to be embarrassed about. On the other hand, these great multi-millennial epics by Edward Rutherfurd - London, Sarum, Russka etc. - might be. Definitely not the best writing in the world, nor the best storytelling, but I like the reading nonetheless. History's wide sweep and shit. I did anyway. Been a while.

7:30 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Shit Sam, I read Black Beauty a few years back and I was just as bad as when I lay on my lawn weeping over her as a child.
Charlotte's Web had me in tears too as a child. So much so Gamma threatened to bar me from taking books to bed.
Anyway, I was thinking off all the real trash I read over the years and what total garbage I totally enjoyed to the shameful max and I came up with two humdingers.
The Thornbirds!( remember that?)
And Jackie Collins', Riders. Pure poo of highly entertaining plop

7:53 p.m.  
Blogger Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Oddly enough, I was half-way through In the Name of The Rose when I lost it in a Dublin pub in 1998.

If anybody has found it - you're welcome to it.

9:54 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

It's too much isn't it? The awful exclamations, the theological meanderings, the tangents. Honestly, too much.

10:02 p.m.  
Blogger Ramon Insertnamehere said...

You try reading it with a skinfull of Guinness.

Doesn't make it easier.

10:12 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Haha, I"m bad enough without, but that must have been fun. It might even make more sense that way. Want me to send you my copy to finish where you left off?

10:58 p.m.  
Blogger laughykate said...

I only fold pages when I've lost my bookmark.

Right now I am on third day in bed, trapped with one of those lurgis that is truly awful. Anyway, talking to my mother and she was telling me how I should have a 'flu bookcase'.Apparently my great aunts did - a bookcase full of guilty pleasures and books from their childhoods that they read when they were poorly.

I am liking the idea of a flu bookcase.

11:02 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Excellent idea, a collection of delightful thing you save to read.
Wasn't it Oscar Wilde who said one of the greatest pleasures in life was to be a litte unwell?
Either way, swift health LK, hope the dreaded Lurgie is brief and relatively harmless.

11:17 p.m.  
OpenID sinfulorigamipaper said...

I have to hold my hand up, page folder too after years of being an "insert random crap - anything from bus tickets to receipts to hospital appointment slips" type.

Guilty pleasures?

Sci-fi.

I know I shouldn't.

11:40 p.m.  
Anonymous problemchildbride said...

The Thornbirds! I think a good deal of my sexual awakening happened with that book!

I LOVE the idea of a flu bookecase!

12:56 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I think MANY a body's sexual awakening coincided with that book.

Sci-fi wouldn't be my normal read but I did go through a phase of reading the Startrek The Next Generation books, I have a few of them here still, I can spy A Call to Darkness on a shelf not to far behind me. And I read Frank Herbert's Dune, but then I think she did everybody else, so that's no great claim. Undersand worms, if I rememember correctly.

9:47 a.m.  
Blogger PI said...

I have lots of bookmarks including leather embossed. My favourite is The Last Supper brought back by a friend from Bethlehem. I still some times can't find one when I need one and have been known to use loo paper. Turning the page down is never an option.
I'm done with guilt and refuse to struggle with a book that doesn't grab me.

10:10 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

You have the right idea Pat, life's too short I'm beginning to realise.

10:25 a.m.  
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