Much of a muchness

Things that make you go 'hmm'…

Books, books and more books


This paper reminds me of the wood block print by the Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai – ‘The Great Wave’ which I have always liked. The artist lived from 1760-1849 but this iconic image of Mount Fuji, framed by the wave is so contemporary. Read more about the artist and his work here. And here


My back is slowly improving. No tennis this morning though which was disappointing but I knew it would be too painful. Instead, I am continuing the process of sorting out my work room. It is full of books and I have decided to be absolutely ruthless (how can I be ‘ruth-less’ if I don’t know what ‘ruth’ is?) and get rid of many of the books on my shelves. It’s ridiculous to keep them all, fondly imagining I will read them again, so I am going to have a big clear out and free up some space. To give you an idea of the scale of the task here are some photographs – and these are just some of the books I have….


As a diversion, to put off beginning this mammoth task (procrastination again anyone?) I have made a new page to contain the awards I have received from all you lovely blogging folk. This is largely due to the King of Blog Awards, Colin over at Life who passed on an AVALANCHE of awards he had received, all at once and Kylee at Bijoux and Banter, who sent a lovely one on the same day. I decided that there were so many, they deserved their own page :-)

To end, and to add further delay to the delay, I just received this and thought it was funny enough to pass on to you. I’m not making any comment other than to say ‘If the cap fits……’, you know who you are :-)
Man flu indeed.


22 responses to “Books, books and more books

  1. lcsa99 February 7, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    See, now that’s the kind of personal library I am hoping to have one day. That’s just awesome :)

  2. Durano Lawayan February 7, 2008 at 1:51 pm


    You’re back! (No pun intended) :-) Are there really men like this guy on the video? Are they truly called men? :-) This guy’s a wimp.
    You said you don’t know what “ruth” is? I think you can find her somewhere in your teeth, living in some canal. :-)

    Nice to know you’re better. When you do feel 100%, that whole bit about the game, the crack in your back, and getting in and out of that extremely low sports car like a octogenarian would give you a good laugh. :-)

    Be careful about the books, there’s so much to do from the looks of it and it could be backbreaking!

    You can sell some, donate the others. There might be a budding artist out there who could find great uses for these, I’m sure.
    The book cover looks really good. I’m certain it will make waves. –Durano, done!

  3. clara February 7, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    hi Diane!
    I thinck you book are better evry day.
    i was in Paris for a wild and i buy some paper.
    i don’t know why but they are all red, geen and gold, and is not cristmas paper.
    hope you better!

  4. Diane February 7, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Isca99 – I keep books I have read to read again but rarely do because I buy new ones – and I buy new ones faster than I can read them. I’m a disaster area!

    Durano – yes, I have two sons and ‘Man Flu’ does indeed seem to be much worse the the female variety – what we call a cold!
    ‘ruth’ – ha! ha! very good – I just looked it up and it means ‘pity, remorse so being ‘ruthless’ makes sense now….
    As for the books, I find it so hard to decide what I don’t want to keep and end up keeping them all – hopeless :-(
    Glad you like the book.

    Clara – nice to hear from you again :-)
    Your puppy is gorgeous and I just love your new Valentine’s book. What a clever idea! I may have to copy that at some point! Glad you enjoyed Paris….

  5. strugglingwriter February 7, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    Funny video! I need one of those bells, because I’m sure it would taste good when it was shoved down my mouth if I used it :)

    I really like this book because I really like the original print. Very cool.

    Also, that is a lot of books. Have you heard of bookmooch? You might be able to get rid of a few books that way.

  6. AmyH February 7, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    I don’t envy you the task of sorting through your books. I did the same last year, and it was hard. How to decide which ones to get rid of, which to keep, it’s a difficult decision. I’ve limited myself to one half of my built-in bookshelves. They’re probably 8 feet high and 4 feet wide. It seemed like a big space when I began, but now I’m having trouble keeping my collection pared down.

    Your Japanese book is beautiful! If I could, I would only use Japanese paper!

  7. Diane February 7, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    SW – your wife seems to do a very good job of looking after you when you are ill. And I’m sure you were genuinely ill (it certainly sounded like it from your description) :-(

    Glad you are on the mend now…

    There is a second hand book shop for the text books and LOTS of charity shops in the town where I live – it’s just getting them there that’s a problem. Heavy books, bad back, stupid car – does not compute… :-)

  8. Diane February 7, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    AmyH – so much for being ruthless. I have been through and ended up with a pile of about a dozen books. Hopeless. I can think of a good argument for keeping everyone of all the rest.
    When I had my book shelves built, I thought I had more than enough space but I have overflowed and they are all over the house. Madness. Perhaps I should open as a lending library…. :-)

    Have a great trip!

  9. Teresa February 7, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    I’m sorry to hear about your back pain! I missed the original post. Hope you’ll be 100% and whacking those tennis balls again soon.

    I love Hokusai art; what a gorgeous book you’ve made!

    And I totally agree with what Icsa99 said, I’d love to have that kind of library…I’m so envious of your shelf space. :)

  10. lcsa99 February 7, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    I am the same. I keep all my books, and prefer to buy, rather than borrow (thank god for ebay!) I am slowly working on my collection but I have a very…..very long way to go before I get where you are.

    You should be proud of that collection! :)

  11. laketrees February 7, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    what an avalanche of books Diane!!!
    I wouldn’t be able to give any …not one ….away !!
    your wave book looks great …and that wave has always been a favourite…
    Lol…the man flu… I hear is a strain of flu that can become worse with too much sympathy and coddling :)

  12. Diane February 7, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    Teresa – back is slowly getting better, had to miss tennis this morning though:(
    It’s not the shelves that is the problem is the number of books on them…. :)

    Isca99 – I’m really horrible about my books – I lend them to friends but HATE it if they forget to give them back – especially if it’s a favourite! I have bought ‘A Fine Balance’ by Rohinton Mistry six times now as I have given it to friends and it hasn’t come back :)

    Kim – I agree, I have been through the collection, determined to lose any I know I won’t read again or didn’t enjoy and have found about 20 books – including about six old cookery books It pathetic, I just can’t bear to part with them :)
    Man Flu? I would make a terrible nurse – I start out with the best of intentions and just become too impatient – no sympathy from me I’m afraid :-)

  13. writinggb February 8, 2008 at 5:03 am

    BEAUTIFUL BOOK!! I love the design of the cover. And what mounds of literature you have kept in your home. I shudder to think of what is happening to the books I am storing in my attic. I oughtta sort and sift. Attic weather can’t be good for them….

  14. Diane February 8, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    I would have to store my overflow in the garage, and I know it would get damp and mouldy, so it has to stay in the house.

    Maybe I should move into the garage and let the books take over the house :-)

    Glad you like the book!

  15. francoyong February 9, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Hi..interesting blog. I enjoyed it. I will be back.

    Thanks and Regards,


    p.s. Visit and register while you’re there.

  16. shinade February 9, 2008 at 11:19 am

    Oh Dear,
    I know what you are going through here. I am a book fanatic. Even if I don’t read them. I simply have always loved books.

    A few years ago I simply had to sort and get rid of some also. It was very hard to do. I found myself putting a book in the give away box and then changing my mind and taking it back out.

    After a few days I did manage to part with several boxes which I donated to our local Library.

    Good Luck!! It’s definitely not an easy task!!

  17. Diane February 9, 2008 at 11:56 am

    Franco – glad you enjoyed my blog. I certainly enjoy reading yours – drop in any time!

    Jackie – it’s a terrible task, I have got as far as piling them on the floor – but as I have a bad back at the moment, I need my son to come home to carry them downstairs for me, if he doesn’t come home soon, they will be all back on the shelf :-)

  18. shinade February 9, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    Oh no, well let’s hope he will arrive soon. I just droped back by to grab your addy. simply had to add a link and also favor this lovely blog!!

    Have a simply marvelous day. I hope you get some good shots!!


  19. Lord Likely February 10, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    That is a marvellous library you have there. I notice we share some of the same books in our collections as well. We can be book buddies. HUZZAH!

  20. Diane February 10, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    I would be honoured to be your book buddy. Do I get to visit the library wing at your residence on the Likely Estate? I promise to wear gloves…..

  21. pete February 13, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    I need to call 999 next time I’m sick. I had no idea they would respond! :D

  22. Diane February 15, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    Pete – they come in special vehicles called manbulances…..

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