Literature and books

This category contains 6 posts

The neurotic’s guide to books

One day, when I was 13, I burst out of my bedroom like a boy possessed and made for my sister’s room like a whippet. A terrible, cataclysmic thing had happened: I’d just discovered, to my horror, that my copy of the book Alien, an object I cherished beyond words, was not where I had … Continue reading

The only man on Earth

— The strange world of Alfred Wainwright — A few days ago I watched a BBC documentary called Wainwright: The Man Who Loved the Lakes. For some reason – perhaps it was my mood that day – it seemed a much better programme than when I first saw it a few years ago. It moved … Continue reading

Fourteen lines which I really like

It’s been a long while since my last post. I’ve been busy. Or perhaps have fallen victim to the phenomenon of a blog only lasting, on average, around six months. I needed some excuses and there they are. And this blog post is not even my own work, not the core of it anyway. It’s … Continue reading

Ten books that changed my life, part 1

Part 1 of 4 In many ways it’s a bit of a free lunch to write a blog post like this. Nothing to worry about with structure, and little with content. Just a list of items and a snippet or two on each. Perhaps that’s why hundreds of such lists seem to spring up every … Continue reading

Pretty obvious: management and self-help books never surprise

What have management and self-help books ever done for us? For some, there is something indefinably magnetic about the confident, tanned, smiling face of the management guru staring out from the book’s cover as you pass it in the bookshop or library; all gleaming teeth and pristine collar, he is frozen in time, with perhaps … Continue reading

Please do not read in the library

The beautiful reading room at my library has long gone but no one knows why. Ten years ago I used to visit the dignified and impressive Mitchell Library in Glasgow, to research and read. Long, solid tables, all facing the same way, graced the large reading room. I say room; it was more a hall. … Continue reading

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