Tuesday, 23 March 2010


You always read in novels and such about characters who are 'bookish'. Now I don't know about you, but I have often wondered what being 'bookish' entails. I believe that today I found out.

Ellen and I decided to go on an adventure to Jane Austen's house in Chawton, Hampshire. Once there we proceded to get over excited by the gift shop, then debate the merits of different versions of the same book based on the explanitory notes provided and how pretty the binding was (or what might be termed by smart people the 'paratext'), spend ages choosing between a postcard depicting Northanger Abbey v.s. one depicting Sense and Sensibility, get enthusiastic about Mr Darcy wrapping paper, notebooks, quill pens and other such items. I also got upset by a comic book version of Pride and Prejudice... I do not approve at all. I also made sarky comments while the old women in the shop debated the merits of Wilkie Collins over Dickens. Then we wandered around the little English village in the rain (I was with an American - she insisted) and made friends with two very excitable dogs. The big dog kept stealing the little dog's stick. On the way home we played Taylor Swift very loudly in the car. Once back in Guildford we stopped off to pick up... you guessed it! Some books. I am now the proud owner of Norton Critical Editions of 'Othello' and 'John Donne's Poetry, (for those of you who aren't excited by the fact that they are Norton's editions I'm going to assume it's because you are unaware of the superior notes and critical analysis provided in these copies). I also have Oxford University Press editions of 'Tis Pity She's a Whore and Other Plays by John Ford, The Winter's Tale and The Princesse de Cleves. These are less exciting, because they don't have quite such interesting notes, but there's still a decent introduction and footnotes, so I'll survive. Following this we decided to frequent the Oxfam Bookshop, only to find, much to our chargrin (question: does anyone know how to pronounce this word? Ellen claims it is said 'shag-grin' but I feel this sounds a little lewd) that it was closed. Instead we dropped by the Library. Whilst there I remembered why I never go to Guildford Library. There is a very good reason why I never go to Guildford Library. It is because it is USELESS. All I wanted was to borrow a copy of The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir. Now their catalogue system is slightly naff and could not find de Beauvoir, because I stuck the de infront and it's under Beauvoir as if her name is: first name Simone, second name de surname Beauvoir. I assumed it couldn't find it because I'd spelt something wrong, so I went to ask the librarian, who despite clearly judging me for not knowing how to spell de Beauvoir, still thought that it might be in the literature section, when I explained it probably wouldn't be she didn't seem to impressed. Finally we found it listed in the catalogue under 'femminism' and went on our way to find the book. However when we got there the cupboard was bare. There was no Second Sex on the shelf. We checked the displays but nada. So I went back to grumpy mcgrumpson to ask of the whereabouts of this book. They didn't know and couldn't help. They were useless. Guildford Library is the ONLY LIBRARY IN THE WORLD that doesn't want to LEND YOU BOOKS. Grrrr and hmph. So in the end I took out The Feminine Mystique instead. Which is interesting enough. But about American Women. And I didn't want to read about American Women. I wanted to read about French Women. Bah Humbug.

I think this story perfectly illustrates what I imagine a 'bookish' person would act like.
The End.

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