(If you're reading this blog on an RSS feed, none of this holiday-in-Melbourne talk will necessarily make sense to you, but if you want a quick update then click through to view the micro-blogging Twitter updates in the side-bar).
Anyway, all of this book browsing put me in mind that I'd been tagged for a book meme. I've had the first question in my head for some time, because, well, I didn't really know the answer but, it's slowly come to me, so I'll have a go at answering the rest too.
1. Hardcover or Paperback, and Why?
Hardback. I think this is because I'm a bit of a book fetishist. I love them as objects, in and of themselves. The answer to this question first began to dawn on me when I saw Maggie's Harvest in a bookshop. If you don't know, it's a collection of recipes by Maggie Beer, a celebrated Australian cook and food writer. She also co-presents The Cook and the Chef on ABC Television with Simon Bryant. It's simply beautiful. It has a padded, embroidered cover and two ribbon bookmarkers, two! It occurs to me that I also like it when books have ribbon markers; these are especially handy in cook books, but I'll take them in any genre of book.
I have a small collection of hardcover books that are all food-related. I do like them a lot. In this context I think I prefer the hardcover because they are for keeping.
2. If I were to own a bookshop, I would call it...
There's a bookshop in Brisbane called Bottom Books, which I've always thought would be an excellent name for a British television comedy, sort of a cross between Bottom and Black Books. Here, I think my preference for stories told on television is rearing its less acceptable head.
If I were to own a bookshop it would likely stock books about television and food. There'd be comics and graphic novels too. I'd be right at home with the trend towards selling DVDs and CDs in such establishments. I still like the traditional novel though, but maybe I'd only sell hardbacks or those that passed the sensibilities of my aesthetic radar. (No-one said this bookshop had to make a profit!)
How does 'Beautiful Words' strike you?
3. My favourite quote from a book (mention the title) is...
Hmmm. I don't have my books with me, so I might have to defer on the actual quote. Perhaps, for the moment, I can just muse on books whose sense of language has stayed with me.
When I read Trainspotting, I began to speak with a Scottish accent: 'Ah dinnae ken'.
Surely, I'll want to nominate something from the works of Roddy Doyle? 'Paddy Clarke has no da!'
When I read Milan Kundera and Paul Auster, I'm always struck by the way their prose triggers my thought processes.
The quote by Dostoyevsky, that's the raison d'etre of this blog, continues to strike a chord in me. It's about the imperative of remaining uncertain, and that succinctly expresses my life philosophy.
(I'm really aware that all of those authors are European or North American men. I don't think that can be good?)
There are more questions, so this is to be continued...