Monday, 18 October 2010

Books Are People

From WeHeartIt
Or at least, they have many of the same characteristics.

Because I welcomed 8 new books into my life on the weekend, I decided that today my Declaration of De-Cluttering would focus on books. Of course, you would never just throw a book in the bin. That would be even worse than, say, covering it with paint and sticking bits of paper all over it. Ahem. Or ripping pages out of it and sticking them in your art journal. A-HEM!

No, I don't plan on doing anything that drastic, don't worry! I either give my books away to the Salvos or I put them in the Information Centre's book swap stand at work. I have an especially hard time letting books go. It's very rare that I would get rid of a non-fiction book - I might need the information again one day. And with novels, there might just be a chance that I want to read it again. About 5 years ago, I joined BookCrossing. It's that thing where you leave books in random spots for other people to find and read and pass on themselves. I released a few books myself, but I missed them too much and wished I'd kept them. A Wizard of Earthsea - that was a really good book. I wish I'd been able to re-read it before I saw the movie. It was a really old copy that smelled good, too. And Music and Silence by Rose Tremain. I might have read that again. Later I found out it was nominated for a Whitbread Award. I would definitely have kept it if I'd known that.


This morning before work I thought I'd choose a book to give to the Information Centre book swap (I actually owe them 3). I stood in front of (one of) my bookcase(s) trying to decide for about 5 minutes before abandoning the whole undertaking. I chose the wrong bookcase, obviously. Perhaps I'll throw away something easier today. It's only Day 3, after all.

There's one book though, that my mind keeps spiralling back to. I have a bit of a dilemma surrounding this book. I won't tell you what it's called - that would be a bit mean. You'll see what I'm talking about. This book was sent to me for free on the proviso that I post a review of it on LibraryThing. This is easier said than done. I received the book nearly a year ago, and I haven't been able to get past Chapter 3. It's a junior book in the vein of Harry Potter, mixed with some Alice in Wonderland. Sounds easy, right? Well, every time I open it up, I feel like my brain is melting and sliding out through my ears. The plot is derivative and stale. The characters are lifeless. The storyline plods heavily along. There are enough typos and grammar errors to give me an aneurysm. I don't think they even used spell-check. I'm serious. And the writing style ... imagine you're walking down the street and every two steps you stub your toe on a broken piece of footpath. That's what reading this book is like.

It's quite obvious that the publishers of this book were fishing for some good reviews by readers grateful to receive a free copy. But I don't even want to finish it, let alone review it! The whole thing is made even yuckier by the fact that there's a positive review of the book on LibraryThing already - written by it's author. That's just trashy.

Of course, you would never just throw a book in the bin, right? But the thought of a young child reading this book when they could be reading Ursula le Guin, Philip Pullman or even J. K. Rowling, sends cold shivers down my spine.

I don't know what to do!

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