I’ve Got The Book Factor!

Nothing quite like a good book on a rainy day!

Good evening, Bookworms!

Welcome to yet another blog entry from Joanne’s Bookshelf as yours truly concentrates on literary matters and listens to some quality 1980s music while deliberately avoiding that reality drivel on Channel Five which goes by the name of Big Brother. Ok, it’s Celebrity Big Brother. Like as if I care. It’s shite of the highest order and I really wish they had never brought that dreadful programme back when Channel 4 pulled the plug on it. Worse still, bloody X Factor is set to return, too! Another dreadful show full of talentless attention-seeking dipshits trying to achieve fame despite having very little in the way of actual talent! Not only do I not want to watch this pair of freakshows, I do not appreciate my Twitter timeline being saturated with tweets about this drivel, either! Therefore, I’m actually avoiding Twitter at the moment and typing this instead, trying to work out a Reality TV Avoidance Strategy and I think  reading books and listening to proper music, the stuff I grew up with, should do the trick very nicely.

Sometimes, I might be lucky enough to be away from here, anyway, when these awful shows are on, e.g. if I’m out for a meal, at a football match or, as will be the case shortly, away on my jollies, and thus the alternative entertainment is taking care of itself. But if I’m here when those shows are on, and you are in a similar predicament, you can join me in having a good read – let’s swap notes and see what we’re all reading while avoiding reality tv shows on the idiot box! It could be our “Big Bookshelf” or even “The Book Factor”! Or even “Strictly Come Reading”! I may well get on with One Steppe Beyond which I am now over halfway through as Thom and Jo make their way across Russia in their VW Campervan. That sounds very dodgy at times, but still sounds like a better bet than watching X Factor audtions and loads of talentless numpties proving that they can’t carry a tune in a bucket! Once I get my copy from Lizzie, I will also have Crime And Punishment to enjoy, while I try and think up a suitable punishment for whoever it was who invented reality tv shows in the bloody first place! Perhaps we could send him or her to the Siberian salt mines?!

Anyway, enough ranting about televisual drivel, and on with more mention of books, and something I mentioned recently about having both e-books and actual books and hoping that they never stop making actual books. I was pondering this while I was at work and reached the conclusion that they actually COULDN’T stop making physical books for several reasons, one of them being people of my gorgeous niece’s age… babies! You can no more give a baby an ebook any more than you could give them a paperback! A baby’s first books are cloth books and board books, books with bright colours, pictures and books made of stern stuff, which can withstand dribble, sucking and being flung about! If you noticed the photo at the top of this blog entry, of my niece Charlotte having a good read, you will see that she is intent on looking at a board book with some brightly-coloured pictures in it. Even if older children’s books and general adult books go over to electronic versions, you will always need actual books for our youngest bookworms when they first start out on their reading  journeys! As her auntie, I am thrilled to bits that Charlotte is taking after me on the bookworm front!

There are, however, occasions when older readers will need to have actual physical hardback or paperback copies of books. For example, occasions where several people need the same edition of the same book. This is required for set texts at school and college. It’s also rather necessary at church – could you imagine if the congregation had different e-reader devices and on them they had different hymn books and different editions of the Bible?! That wouldn’t do, would it?! Quite literally, you all have to be singing from the same hymn sheet! And then there’s the visually-impared, young and old alike. Ok, so e-reader devices can give you large print settings, but I’m actually on about the actual blind here… those whose sight is so limited or non-existent that they require books in Braille. They will need books! How would they be able to feel the raised dots on an e-reader? Answer? They couldn’t!

I’ve got my book group on Tuesday. Not finished Tamar by any stretch of the imagination, but at least I’ve read a bigger chunk of it. Might give it a bit more of a go at the weekend, although I may just have to go to my bookclub just having read as much as I’ve read and wait and see what our next book is going to be. Let’s see if that holds my attention more than this book has done! I’m thinking of suggesting a possibility for our next book, that being that we read Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman, which is actually on the longlist for this year’s Man Booker Prize. We’ll see, anyway…

Ooh, my BlackBerry, which has been playing random music from my memory card all this time, has now chosen the 1812 Overture! Yay! Can’t beat a bit of Tchaikovsky! Actually, that brings us back on to the theme of all things Russian. Perhaps I should read that big hardback Jonathan Dimbleby book that I bought a few months ago in a sale at WH Smiths? Simply entitled Russia, it accompanied the BBC series, one of many tv series I have meant to watch but didn’t get around to. Never mind, at least I have the book! Books are almost always better than any films that are made of them so I imagine the same goes for tv programmes, although I expect the tv series of “Russia” was pretty damn good – Auntie Beeb is pretty nifty when it comes to a good documentary series! Sometimes, there can be some utterly brilliant tv series’ on the box. Just don’t expect me to class any reality tv shows amongst them! Snowballs will have been found in Hell before that ever happens!

As they used to say on telly, when closing down for the night in the old days, that’s about all we have time for tonight, so take care, Happy Reading, and don’t forget to switch off your sets! (Cue drum roll and national anthem, followed by test card with that girl, the toy clown and the half-finished game of noughts and crosses!)

Books mentioned in this blog entry:

  • One Steppe Beyond – Thom Wheeler
  • Crime And Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Tamar – Mal Peet
  • Pigeon English – Stephen Kelman
  • Russia – Jonathan Dimbleby
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