Books and more books

Post 13/2023 Cornwall UK Sunday 16 April . . . Books and more books have been and keep being published. I can’t imagine being without a book; even as I’m grateful for having enormously whittled down my personal library. Library loans are a treasure. As are used bookstores–for donating books and finding others.

At a National Trust used bookshop I picked up a copy of How to Read a Novel: A User’s Guide, by John Sutherland (Profile Books, 2006). Sutherland: “If you had the riches of Croesus (or Bill Gates) you could, with a few hours’ key-stroking, order up from some half-million novels to be Fedexed, rush delivery, in thirty-six hours. You would, of course, need a disused airplane hangar to keep the books in and a small army of forklifting stackers and fetchers to move the things.”

Sutherland holds novels in high regard. “A clever engagement with a novel,” he wrote, “is one of the nobler functions of human intelligence.” I’ve only gotten started, and like what I’m reading. ” Given a reading career of fifty years, a 40-hour reading week, a 46-week working year and three hours per novel, you would, as I calculate, need 163 lifetimes to read them all. And very dull lifetimes they would be. More fun on the forklifts.”

On how to read an endorsement, Sutherland said, “There are two approaches: If you’re a trusting soul, treat an endorsement as you would icing on a birthday cake–dip your finger into it, taste and pay up. If you’re a suspicious kind of person, treat it as you would the cheese on the mousetrap and keep your hand on your wallet. I’d advise suspicion.”

The book world gives much in entertainment, information and inspiration to feed one’s mind, hands, heart and feet. Feet? As in feet up to read another chapter or two.

Not to despair on endless choices. Pick some, leave the many for other pickers. On four shelves of large-print books at the St Ives Library, I’ve picked out and read at least one book from each shelf, glad for the choice. Bravo book world!

Fisherman’s Friends the Musical

We attended a delightful matinee performance in the weeklong presentation of Fisherman’s Friends the Musical at the Hall for Cornwall in Truro. The musical zings with the spirit of Cornwall.

The Hall’s marketers are up to speed. We found a card at our seats that noted, “WELCOME BACK DYNNARGH DHE-DRE

The team and I are bowled over that you’ve returned for another Cornwall Playhouse experience. Your support makes us who we are. I hope you enjoy the performance; we can’t wait to welcome you again next time.”


Julian Boast, chief executive and creative director

Views from the week

High winds and rain curtailed our walks somewhat, but we did get out. We enjoyed having friends visit us for a meal and on sunny Saturday going with friends to visit Pendennis Castle in Falmouth.

Take time

A walk through this ancient woods and old tin mining area takes us off the main road from Carbis Bay to St Ives. Lengthens our walk, stirs our souls, lifts our spirits.

May you travel a happy road this week, informed, entertained, or inspired by a book.


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