Saturday, September 30, 2006

A man called Peter, a regular customer, has just talked me into reading The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy. He's just stood here and waxed lyrical about McCarthy's work for 15 minutes.
I love it when people are passionate about their reading. Warms the cockles of the heart, it does.
Meanwhile, in the shop.... History's been tidied up but not organised exactly how I want it. New bookcase is going in down there soonish so I'll be able to set it all up as I want it then.
The new display case up the front, behind the desk, looks really good. People can actually see our collectibles now.
There's a book up there that I want - History of the Civil War in the USSR, written by, amongst others, Joseph Stalin. It's a deadly dull read and quite a deal removed from the truth. But, for its pure historical value it's an excellent find. It's worth hundreds of dollars, though, so I can't just 'borrow' it.
Grand Final today. Sydney Swans V West Coast Eagles.
I'm supporting the Swannies as they have an ex-Saint as their captain and their colours are 2/3rds the same as ours.
Should be a good game - these two teams always put on a very close match when they play each other. They played off in last year's GF as well, Swans won by just a couple of points. Very exciting.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Hahaha, Shirl's been playing funny buggers on the Other Side.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Sometimes I wish I had magic powers. The History and Politics sections just look far too daunting this morning.
And the front desk is being replaced as well, which means I have to clean out all the crap that's accumulated in, around and under it over the years. Oh me oh my.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Taya turned five during the week so we had a family get-together yesterday to celebrate. Very pleasant evening.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

There are differences between English and US publishers. I'm not sure why but I'm discovering that it can be quite significant at times.
There's William Collins in the UK, Harper and Row in the US and HarperCollins in Australia - all part of News Corp, by the way. There's Mills & Boon in the UK and Harlequin in the US. Etc.
Even books can be published differently. Cross Stitch by Diana Gabaldan is called Outlander in the US. Lee Child's The Visitor is Running Blind in the US.
I think, here in Oz, we mainly get UK editions, which all have "not for sale in the US or Canada" clearly printed on them. I guess it's the same for US publications and sale in the UK.
Strange is the world of big business.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Romance is done. We've got rid of about 5000 books from that section.
The History/Politics plans have changed again! The case I wanted to use isn't going to be big enough - so I might leave the old case where it is and just organise the books properly. But not today - too many aching muscles. Tomorrow will be better anyway 'cos Sundays are always a quieter day customer-wise.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Another one

The things that turn up in email...

The article's a little bit old now, but still cute.

SICHUAN , China -- One zoo in southwest China has its hands full with 16 baby pandas.
Sichuan Wolong Panda Protection and Breed Center is dealing with the results of a breeding boom -- 16 pandas have been born since July, 2005. The brood includes five sets of twins. The cubs are weighed and measured every five days by a special panda nurse.
The heaviest tips the scale at just over 24 pounds, whi le the lightest weighs about 11 pounds. The pandas are due to stop being suckled by their mothers in February, 2006 just about the time they'll start learning to walk. Once weaned, the panda cubs will attend panda kindergarten. In the meantime, more little ones are expected at the center, since 38 giant pandas were artificially impregnated.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Change of plan:
Romance is to be culled first. I've just arranged for Book Inn in Ferntree Gully to take about 1500 Mills & Boons off our hands at 10cents a piece. That's about a third of our M&B stock. Then the general Romance section has to be culled by 20% as well.

The bookcase you can see on the right of the pic (a couple of posts below) is to be replaced and that will then become the new History case - which means that the History section has to be emptied, the old case removed and the replacement one put in and then filled. It'll be a good move tho' because it's got good, deep shelves. Lots of the History books are rather big - currently they have to lie down. It'll be good to be able to stand them up properly.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

"Publishers Houghton Mifflin and HarperCollins have announced that an unfinished tale by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by his son Christopher Tolkien, will be released in Spring 2007.

The Children of Hurin is an epic tale that Tolkien begain in 1918 and later abandoned... and then taken up again by his son Christopher 30 years ago, piecing together the entire tale from his notes and other works."

Just read this over at

Biography section is all organised now as well. Woohoo, we're on a roll.
But, the hard part is still to come - the History and Politics sections. They are in absolute chaos. There is no rhyme or reason to the way they've been shelved. we're going to have to take all the books off the shelves and start again from scratch. As you can see, there's not a lot of room to move in here.

PS. It's not quite as dark in here as the pic makes out.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Did I mention the Queenscliff Music Festival? Last weekend in November. Tickets have arrived. I saw/heard some great music the last time I went, two years ago. Judging by the list of artists already booked, this year should be just as good.
Crime Fiction is done! Bronnie came in and helped me - it took us about 8 hours to reorganise it all properly. Two and a half thousand books in that section. It looks so neat now.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Story Operating Systems - The Early Years

"...First there was OralTrad, upgraded ten thousand years later by the rhyming (for easier recall) OralTradPlus. For thousands of years this was the only Story Operating System and it is still in use today. The system branched in two about twenty thousand years ago; on one side with CaveDaubPro (forerunner of PaintPlus V2.3, GrecianUrn V1.2, SculptMarble V1.4, and the latest, all-encompassing SuperArtisticExpression-5). The other strand, the Picto-Phonetic Storytelling Systems, started with ClayTablet V2.1 and went through several competing systems (WaxTablet, Papyrus, VellumPlus) before merging into the award-winning SCROLL, which was upgraded eight times to V3.5 before being swept aside by the all-new and clearly superior BOOK V1. Stable, easy to store and transport, compact and with a workable index, BOOK has led the way for nearly eighteen hundred years..."

From The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Jobs to do in the shop:
Reorganise the Crime Fiction section so that the books all fit on the shelves properly and in order. (alphabetically by author)
Reorganise the History section so that the books are in some sort of order.
Ditto for the Politics section. (Not sure what order to use here - Dewey? Chronology? Countries/Regions?)
Reorganise the Biography section so that the books fit on the shelves in proper order. (alphabetically by subject)
Cull the Romance section to get rid of some of the junk.
I'd also like to reorganise the Horror/Thriller section to separate them into the two distinct genres.
I've got two weeks, minus the trip to the Canberra Book Fair (if we go to it). It's not gonna happen, but I'm going to try!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

So now the Saints have sacked the coach.
I'm ambivalent about whether this is a good move or not. He did make some weird decisions at times - playing injured players in last week's final was definitely a bad idea. It's why we lost the game - half the team just couldn't run.
Given the talent in the team, they have definitely underachieved in recent years. Maybe that's the coach's responsibility, maybe not.
Anyway, the search is now on for a new coach. Let's hope they get a good one.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Ho hum, another season ends prematurely

Saints lost their elimination final last night. Sigh.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Saints finished the season with a good win over Brisbane last night - the first win up there since 1991!!!
Currently, they're sitting in 4th spot. But it depends on how Collingwood and Sydney go today - either or both could jump above us if they win (tho' Collingwood will need to win big).
The top 4 sides get another chance if they lose in the first round of finals next week. Sides 5 -8 are finished if they lose. So it's kinda important to us that Sydney and Collingwood both lose today - tho' it's not gonna happen. never know your luck in a big city. Fingers crossed.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Currently reading....

Life Is So Good by George Dawson.
Bit of a change for me as I don't read a lot of biographical stuff. George Dawson was 101 when he wrote this book. He learned to read when he was 98. He's black and from Texas.
The first chapter tells the story of a young black boy being lynched because somebody's daughter got pregnant. Obviously the black fella raped her. When she gave birth to a white baby six months later, no one said a word. The next chapter revolves around his grandmother's and great-grandmother's recollections of the ending of slavery.
That's as far as I've got so far.