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Friday, January 18, 2013

Books and reading....

I have lots of novels waiting to be read. Friends would often hand me a bundle of books and say, 'You'll enjoy these' and I would put them into a storage cube 'for when I was retired and had time for reading'. If DH and I visited the Carrara Markets at the Gold Coast, I would invariably find some titles by a favourite author and these would then go into the storage cube. Eventually I had more than one storage cube full of books. 
I retired in 2011 and the pile of books waiting to be read had not lessened much. So in October last year I made a concentrated effort to read more. I am gradually becoming used to reading in the day time...somehow it always felt wrong! lol Some days late last year, I read for an entire afternoon!! So, by early December I had bagged up some of the ones that I've read, ready to go in the Lifeline bin. The Minette Walters one I finished after filling that supermarket bag. 

There's 8 books in this bag plus a fairy wand I found in a cupboard ???
 Last week I finished reading a book which I bought after reading about it on someone's blog and found that our council library didn't have it. The author, Judith Levine, decided to only spend money on food, utilities and other bare necessities for one year, so she could write about it. It's written in diary form and Levine intersperses the entries with sociological, economic and political commentary of life in the US in the early 2000s. She certainly doesn't offer any suggestions on how to live frugally (although she visits and interviews a chap who does) but does complain when her clothes become threadbare in that year. Levine also becomes bored as she can't go to movies, hire movies  or have pay TV. She bemoans the fact that when she is unable to accept invitations to join people for coffee/lunch, she is missing out on 'networking opportunities' for her career. 



There are obviously a lot of differences between Judith and I, but her boredom really amazed me. She had a computer with internet access for her work, so one can only imagine the possibilities there. She didn't seem to have any craft type hobbies...her and her husband got into a 'tizz' when they couldn't buy something for her niece's graduation. I'd be going through my yarn and fabric stashes and whipping up something that wouldn't require any spending...no fuss, no worry! (and I have done that many times when the budget was tight)

Levine did start to use public libraries during this year but commented that budget cuts over a number of years have left these places under staffed, stolen books haven't been replaced and new acquisitions are few and far between. She found other public utilities/facilities/amenities in the US to be similar.  Here in Queensland I think we can expect something similar in the not too distant future. 

1 comment:

allotmentadventureswithjean said...

Dear Maria. An interesting post. I love reading and I'm an avid library-goer. New Farm is my local and the staff there are so helpful. For one thing it's air conditioned which is fabulous at this time of year in Brisbane. As well as plenty of books on the shelves, you can use their computers. I take my own lap top there to use their WiFi. I get my DVD's and CD's from there. They have a great selection of magazines. We have the gardening group meeting and the book club meeting monthly and they organise wonderful gardening workshops with Annette McFarlane funded by the council.
I do love my library. Let us hope that we don't have cuts to library funding here in Brisbane until after I fall off the perch !! Hopefully that will be a long time away.