Sunday, 16 June 2013

A small collection of things overheard and observed

Part of my day job recently has involved sitting alone behind a table of flyers in front of a building that's being refurbished. As well as the building being a really popular place to visit, to the left and right of me are two very popular bars, and there is a church just ahead. This has made for some interesting overhearings.

Two young guys, on their way into a bar:
"... the thing about her is she's incredibly disrespectful and also really hard to penetrate..."
(please be talking about her mind)

A man approaches me. He asks "Which way is wist?"
Me: "I'm not sure, is it is a bar or a -"
Him: "No, wist, which way is it?"
(I'm baffled. He's holding a camera and squinting.)
Him: "There's a sign over there says the wist church windows are impressive."
Me: "Ah! West. Okay. Er, I don't know, where's the sun...?"
I look up and consider where the sun sets and how you should never eat shredded wheat but he's walked away.

Man in a cagoule asks, "Are you having a bit of a refurby?"
He chats for a while about films, mostly Wolverine. When another customer approaches he says: "They're closed! They open in 2 weeks!" Which is handy, though a little shouty.

A couple stop a metre away from me and start snogging. When they break away, she asks:
"Do you have any mints?"


I have more but will leave it there for now. I must add there have also been some really lovely visitors to the leaflet table, people interested in what's going on in the building behind me and what kind of a day I have been having, and if I should be sitting that close to the all the building dust, and if I have some earplugs for when it gets really loud (I did).

Friday, 7 June 2013

How do you decide what to read next, when you don't know what to read next?

I'm just wondering, in the interest of nothing much apart from curiosity, when you get that feeling - that need - for a good book - how do you choose what you'll read next?

You might have a list, mental or otherwise, of books you're interested in. But those times when you don't, when you just want something good to read, how do decide what to buy or borrow next?

I'll tell you what I do, then you tell me what you do in the comments. Or on Twitter if you're not the commenting-on-blogs kinda gal or guy.

So, if I don't have my 'things I'd like to read' list, or it's empty, or whatever, I text a friend. I have one great friend who reads more than anyone else I know. She read English at Goldsmith's, she's one of those folks who seems to have 'read EVERYTHING!', we talk about books over wine when we meet, we text each other if we're enjoying a book, we give each other books we don't want to keep but have really liked (neither of us is precious about hanging onto books), she loves thrillers, horror, classics, 'literature'. She keeps up with what's going on in the publishing world. She reads reads reads. All kinds of books, she's no snob.

Because I see her often I usually have a few titles we might have talked about, but if not, I text her. 'What have you read lately that's good?' She tells me.

So, those occasions when I'm seeking a recommendation, that's where I go.

What about you?

Do you go with instincts, perusing the shelves (I like that too), big award lists, word of mouth, other?