Books are amazing

I have two separate book related stories here.

First up is The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Probably the best book I’ve ever read. I read it a couple of years ago and it’s still pretty fresh and I still can’t bring myself to send my cheap paperback version to the charity shop. All the other literary flotsam and jetsam has long gone, but this one lurks broodily on the bookshelf.

So when I saw that the Guardian/Observer was encouraging a national book swap, it was the first book that sprang to mind. I would simply love for someone else to read this book anew or re-read it again. The swap works like this – affix a sticker to the front of the book informing the finder it’s now their book and a sticker on the inside lets the recipient know that I loved it.

Simple. Now, where to leave it?

The second book related story is cool too, in its own way.

Regular visitors to this blog will know of my obsession with British Sea Power and I was delighted to see that their one time manager and brother to two of the band has written a book of the early days of the band called ‘Do it for your mum’. Not available on Amazon or Waterstones just yet, I bought it directly from the publisher (or the author) online.

It was a joy yesterday, then, to see a brown cardboard package (always the best kind of package I think) on the kitchen work surface when I got home from work.

Tucked snugly inside the packaging was the book: crisp and fresh, smelling pristine – the ink and paper an old school treat for jaded nostrils.

These are the little pleasures in life, I think. After a hard day: a promising package.

Forgetful of what has been ordered and then, remembering.

The icing on the cake: the book had been sent from a certain R.Wilkinson. The author. Something deeply satisfying to know that the proud author might have packed the book himself and taken it to his local West Country post office. And a final note of satisfaction: each book numbered. Mine happens to be 0218.

Smashing.

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