Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Thriftbooks Used Books Online Store

Thriftbooks have recycled over 164 million books and donated more than 1 million used books.

The catalogue is HUGE (I mean REALLY HUGE) and I have just ordered my first book.

The shipping to Australia is only US $4.99 so the total cost still came to less than $9.00.

Check it out. The banner is at the top of my blog.

Confessions of a telephone book reader.

Yesterday I received a looper that I ordered on my son's behalf from America. For the non-guitarists amongst us, it is a gadget that joins an electric guitar to the amplifier that allows you to do weird things such as reverberation, loop small phrases so that you can overlay something on top and generally make the music much more interesting.

I am all very happy about this looper. My son has done all the research and we were confident that his purchase was sound. HOWEVER, what I hadn't counted on was the 500 page free catalogue that also arrived in the box. I can foresee endless hours with his nose in this catalogue, numerous google searches and complex discussions around the dinner table about the merits of a certain electrically driven piece of instrument that he plans to purchase next. Most of these discussions I don't understand but I think he has realized this now.

This has all brought back memories of reading telephone books. When I was a child, and not such a child, I could spend hours reading telephone books. They are facinating.
The white pages with residential listings contain millions of names and addresses. I would look for the really unusual ones that I couldn't pronounce and then try and guess if the total number of entries for that surname belonged to the one family.
The yellow pages with the business listings were great too but didn't facinate me quite as much. I was interested in everyday people just like me, where they lived and tried to imagine what they did every day.

Is there anyone else out there with a facination for telephone books?


Saturday, 4 June 2011

How to keep on track when you have wandered off.

It is more than a week since I added a post to my blog. I promised myself, on a stack of my favourite books and dirty dishes that I could commit to a weekly post.
Unfortunately, that hasn't lasted long. While I could say that it is because I have been too busy reading everyone else's blogs (partly true), it really is because I went and found the household another cat. Actually, I found myself another cat. It was my idea and because everyone else was too polite to say "DON'T DO IT" and block the pet rescue page on the internet, I took that as an assumption that it was a fabulous idea for everyone.

Everything was great for the first hour after Sweetie, a 7 year old pure bred Korat moved in. She checked out the lodgings and promptly went to sleep on our bed. Things deteriorated rapidly after that. By the time everyone else arrived home, she had taken up residence in the wardrobe and was hissing loudly as soon as anyone walked into the room.

I was quite content to let her stay there until she felt ready to come out but after a while John politely said, "There's a smell coming from the wardrobe. I think we had better get her out." Poop (literally.) We had to do something.

Now we have:
(1) a traumatised cat
(2) a very sore hand where the teeth went through the gardening gloves
(3) an upset stomach from the antibiotics to counteract the infection in the hand
(4) a very upset siamese cat called Su-nee

I forgot to mention that we already had a cat. It really is her house. She tells us what to do and we usually do it. Except I didn't ask her permission to get another cat.

Perhaps I should have?


Wednesday, 25 May 2011


Book BagLady: UNDER AN AFGHAN SKY:A MEMOIR OF CAPTIVITY (MELLISS...: "Mellissa Fung, thirty-five-years-old, has been a long time journalist for CBC's 'THE NATIONAL' in Canada. As she was reporting on the effect..."

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Remembering Australian Literature

A.B. “Banjo” Patterson
One of my recent book finds is a book of writings by Banjo Patterson so I had a quick read and it renewed by interest in Australian literature.
Banjo Patterson was born in rural New South Wales in 1864. At the age of 31, he achieved two milestones in Australian writing. He composed his now famous ballad “Waltzing Matilda” and his first book, “The Man from Snowy River and Other Verses,” was published.
Every Australian claims ownership of Banjo. So much that “Waltzing Matilda” was once even consider for the Australian National Anthem. For those of you who have never heard the poem, here is a short sample.

Oh! there once was a swagman camped in the Billabong,
Under the shade of a Coolabah tree;
And he sang as he looked at his old billy boiling,
"Who'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me."

Down came a jumbuck to drink at the water-hole,
Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him in glee;
And he sang as he put him away in his tucker-bag,
"You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me!"

And here it is put to music at the magnificent Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Okay, now for the translation. A swagman is an old fashioned term for an unskilled itinerant worker who carried his few belongings  rolled up in a sleeping bag on his back and a jumbuck is a sheep. Billabong is another term for a waterhole. 

Once Australia had decided it was grown up enough to have an “Australian” national anthem, the hunt was on for something to replace “God Save the Queen.”

“Waltzing Matilda” was a popular choice. We all know the words and have sung it enthusiastically at every school across the country, at the cricket, football or around the barbecue after a few drinks.

In the end, common sense prevailed. National anthems should be patriotic. About growth and the future. We could hardly have a song about a sheep stealer who in the end, jumped into the billabong and killed himself when pursued by the law.

I think Australians rest comfortably with “Advance Australia Fair” as our national anthem.
In my belief, Banjo should not feel discarded for not having made it to the national anthem. He resides on the $10 note, which will still buy you a burger and a drink for lunch, a ticket to the movies on “cheap Tuesday” and a cheap t-shirt with a slightly ugly picture on the front.


For sale on ebay this week I have a book of Banjo's stories and sketches. Check it out.

It is probably not proper for me to finish this little insight into one of Australia's legends without providing a link to the song that pipped "Waltzing Matilda" at the post. Funnily enough, I don't even know who wrote it. 

"Advance Australia Fair"

Which one would you have voted for?


Wednesday, 11 May 2011

For the love of bookmarks.

When people ask me why I have a love of bookmarks, they usually have a fairly sceptical look on their face. Maybe they wish they hadn't actually asked the question but alas, for them it is too late.

I am not very keen on the practice of turning over the corner of the page to make your place. In fact, I think it is deplorable and is defacing the book. Most of the books that I read are from the local council library and there is nothing I like more than getting lost there for a few hours.

However! There is nothing as special as opening the cover on a brand new book from the bookshop or just unwrapped as a loving gift. For me, that book will be treated with great care so that the next reader can have that "opened for the first time" feeling.

Hence my love of bookmarks. In my time, I have used just about anything - tissues, knitting needles, old envelopes, bills that could have just magically disappeared into the pages of the book. Maybe? I hve tried it but it has never happened.

My range of bookmarks is expanding and I am excited by the interested. The most popular are my butterflies, that  hover above the book. They are very pretty.

Next in the line of favourites are the "Hello Kittys." They are so cute and quite delicate and popular amongst young girls.

My latest arrival are the "Happy Men." They are just a little bit cheeky. What do you think?

My range is growing daily. Check it out on

Friday, 6 May 2011

Can you ever have too many books?

We have just spent a lovely weekend away. Your whole outlook changes when you have the chance to take some time out together to enjoy the weather, eat, sleep and read.
Inevitably, I came home with more books. I picked up some unusual and interesting books. My intent was to sell them on ebay as it is a way to justify my need to collect stray books and surround myself with reading material.  
Of course, none of them have been listed on ebay but I promise they will be today. I will just have a flick through them first.....
Check out my ebay store to find them: