I'm having one of those days. You know the ones where it rains and then all the tourists spear you with their flailing umbrellas on your way to Borders? And then when you get to Borders, which is ordinarily a haven from the sight-seeing hordes, even on Saturdays, you discover all the ones without umbrellas are in there dripping all over the beautiful books and fingering them in bibliophilic confusion?
I hate to hear inexperienced browsers asking each other silly questions in book shops...like "where is D?"...and not being able to answer with suitable wisdoms...like "after C and before E. Where the alphabet left it." (I've discovered that butting into people's conversations, even with helpful book-buying tips, is Not Done.)
Nevertheless, there were some beautiful new hardbacks in stock today. (For the last few weeks things have been quiet in new releases, as far as I'm concerned anyway. I like the sound of the new Kate Atkinson One Good Turn - who can resist "A Jolly Murder Mystery" - but I haven't read Case Histories yet and they seem to share characters...) Vikram Chandra's Sacred Games, about a Sikh detective with the Mumbai police, was out yesterday and although it sounds very different from Red Earth and Pouring Rain I imagine it's going to be very good. The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox looks pretty sexy too, being set in early Victorian London amidst a profusion of fog with murder thown in and melodrama galore. Yum. I was most excited though, to see The Apple: New Crimson Petal Stories by Michel Faber, fresh out from Canongate. Now we can find out what happened to Sophie, and where Suger went, and what Rackham did. It's a slim little volume at 128 pages but it looks beautiful... I wish I didn't have to wait for it.
Otherwise I spent my day rediscovering the joys of LibraryThing. I started cataloguing my books there a little while ago but didn't get very far before I was distracted (probably by one of the books I was cataloguing). Inspired by dovegreyreader I went back yesterday and finished off up to 200. You can view my new shelf here. Isn't it lovely? Up to this point it is only books that a) I have with me, physically, in York...probably about 120 or so, and b) unread books that are still at my parents house on shelves, of which 80 is only a small number. I have no idea how many books are boxed up in my parents' attic...
There are so many things I like about LibraryThing. For one it should cut down on duplicate buying, of which I've had a minor epidemic in the last year: I have so many unread books that I can't remember what I've bought and what I haven't. Cataloguing has been full of surprises - "oh I have that" and "when did I buy that?!" This is because I'm disorganised. Unlike Nic I don't have TBR shelves that snake all about my house in a neat marching order, each book being read at it's prescribed time and new purchases (mostly) joining the end of the queue. I wish I did... And I used to buy with abandon up until this recent financial squeeze. A book from here, one from there, a big parcel from Amazon. You know how it is.
Also, it helps me to take statistical stock of things through the power of "tags". Thus I can look at my own virtual TBR shelf, currently made up of 142 books...which is shocking if you think that I've only catalogued 200 tomes. If we pretend that all the books in my parents' attic are read (unlikely), and that I'm about half done enumerating the shelved books, my TBR stack is going to be close to 300. Oh dear. In the less guilt-making department I can see that thus far I've catalogued 10 books I consider "fluff" or entirely for silly pleasure - half of them are from Diana Gabaldon's time-travelling romance series, Outlander, which I'm unabashedly fond of. I have 59 books currently shelved as "fantasy" and another 25 that I've muddled in as "speculative", although looking back I'm not quite sure how some books ended in the latter category. A piffling 23 of 200 are non-fictions.
I can see this is going to become addictive...