Tag Archives: books

For the Love of Secondhand Books: A Digression

It’s a perfect example of what it is, a secondhand book. It’s got other well used books on its cover, it’s on a ‘vintage’ imprint and I bought it from a secondhand  bookshop.

It is also, by the way, a perfect book. Tom Hanks says it as well as I ever could in his review quote inside the cover:

“It’s simply a novel about a guy who goes to college and becomes a teacher. But it’s one of the most fascinating things that you’ve ever come across.”

Read that aloud, please, in your best dry, wry and enquiring Tom Hanks voice and I think you might both get the idea and want the book. Which you can have any day soon if I give you its catalogue number: Continue reading

Imagine, Liverpool Central Library.

A post from Sarah, on today’s visit to Liverpool’s new library.


It’s Sunday, it’s the end of our seemingly endless heatwave, and finally cooler. Last night it rained. Lovely, heavy summer rain. It smelt divine. Today showers are forecast, and I’ve known it was going to be like this so am not planning on visiting Plot 44. Instead, we’re going into town, to the ‘new library’. This is Liverpool’s Central Library, which re-opened in May this year after a huge refurbishment. Ronnie wrote about its opening here. Me, not being one for crowds, didn’t go along, but was looking forward to my first visit.

Today we drive into town and park above the entrance to the ‘old’ Mersey tunnel, Queensway, which opened in 1934, and for such a utilitarian piece of architecture (a road under the river Mersey), it is a lovely structure. Continue reading

Summer reading

We don’t really do summer holidays here at a sense of place, as in getting on a plane and lying on a beach somewhere for a fortnight. But I know many people do and it’s one of the main times people get to read books. So recently the ‘quality’ press here in the Northern Hemisphere has been doing its hardy perennial articles of recommended ‘summer reads’ and it’s made me think ‘Why not? We may not be ‘quality’ round here but I do love to read. And besides, Allerton Road Public Library has been on good form lately, so here goes.

First choice is ‘Mouse and the Cossacks’ by Lancashire writer Paul Wilson. It’s quite a down book with tragedies at its heart, which is nevertheless delicately done and so never becomes a heavy read.MOUSE-AND-THE-COSSACKS

‘Mouse’ is a young girl who goes through various trauma which cause her to lose the power of speech. So she communicates, with the very few people she knows, entirely in writing. Either pages ripped from her Filofax or text messages. In her Filofax she also writes herself messages of things she wants to find out about or do: Continue reading

In Wonderland

A library opens. Rare enough in these days of enforced ‘austerity’ when branch libraries everywhere are being closed.  So something to be celebrated, mainly in pictures. I will have more words when I’ve had a better, quieter look around.

But here we are, Friday 17th May, 2013. Liverpool Central Library re-opens after three years of intense rebuilding and renewal, and early in the evening I’m on my way to see it, along with a goodly part of the population.

Off the bus, through St John's Gardens, past the Tunnel.

Off the bus, through St John’s Gardens, past the Tunnel.

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Help! It’s nearly World Book Night.

A few weeks ago I told you about World Book Night and how this year Sarah had been picked as one of the 20,000 people who would be giving books away on 23rd April to people who ‘don’t regularly read.’World Book Night

I also told you we hadn’t yet come up with an idea about how the books might be given away:

“Where will this happen? Well, we don’t know yet. We might join in with an event in Liverpool that others are organising. Or we might organise one of our own. We’d be happy to share ideas with you if you’re involved in World Book Night too.”

But I reassured you that we’d be ‘finding creative ways to get the books to people who might not otherwise go looking for them.’

Well we haven’t. And here are our excuses: Continue reading

World Book Night

You could call us all kinds of things. And some do. But of all the things we do, the film making, the finding the work you love, the planning the future of your place or organisation, even to Sarah’s work as an independent funeral celebrant, we think the little phrase that sums us up best is that we are ‘story tellers.’ We tell the stories of what people have done and what they want to do.World Book Night

So we’re delighted that Sarah has been selected as a World Book Night 2013 Giver. Continue reading

The Pleasures of Reading

Yes, today Ronnie’s talking about books. Just in case you’ve arrived here thinking it’s a post about a well known English town not too far from London.

I love a good book. Settling down into someone’s knowledge, opinions or imagination. Not knowing what you’re in for, but knowing it will be good.

Yes but how do you know it will be good? Well, I think it’s all down to the reader’s book-finding skills.

I do most of my book-finding around where we live. In charity shops or the public library. Sometimes I’ll buy brand new books in town, from our long treasured feminist co-op, News From Nowhere. But most of my mooching is done locally.

Today, the books.

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