Posts Tagged ‘acquisitions’


Clockwise, from top left: Soren Kierkegaard’s the Seducer’s Diary, John Updike’s The Women Who Got Away, Giacomo Casanova’s Of Mistresses, Tigresses and Other Conquests and William Hazlitt’s On The Pleasure of Hating. I know I said earlier, self-embargo, dire economic straits, etc, but I bought these over three weeks ago at Fishpond, whose website I am not even going to cue here because their shipping policy is so flagrantly dilatory that the thought of them somehow getting custom because of me is galling. I was excited at the idea of an Australian online book retailer with postage deals and a large inventory, but if your idea of ’24-hour shipping’ equates to a reality of ’10-day shipping’ then I am not really going to chalk much up to your ‘win’ column. I’m sorry, but that’s the way it is. To be fair, only one of the books I bought was valid for 24-hour shipping, but that’s a 1000% failure, i.e. a pretty epic fail.

The books look sleek and friendly though, and I’m quite excited to get into fellow misanthrope Hazlitt’s ranting. (‘Excited’ meaning that some time in the next two months, I might turn the first page.)

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Just in case you thought this blog was only about showing off how many pieces of paper you can buy by simply transferring bits of data on the internet, here’s some correspondence between Rick Moody (whose short story collection is languishing on my ‘currently reading’ list to the right, not because of any flaws in the book, but because a restacking exercise banished it to the bottom of a very tall and precarious pile of books) and his friend Michael Snediker about the new Antony and the Johnsons album, The Crying Light (which, incidentally, I am very surprised to love). The correspondence is meandering, and we stop at Derrida, Artaud, Deleuze and Sontag along the way. I didn’t (want to) read it all, but it’s certainly thoughtful at times. Definitely disagree about Joanna Newsom’s Ys album, which for me is a triumphant example of emotion being exhibited at its prismatic best by difficult, technical, impressionistic music. Also, incandescent lyrics. But that’s just me.

October 21, 2008

Bigger is not always better, nor is newer…except in the case of my long overdue hardback copy of Fowler’s Modern English Usage, which thankfully supercedes my 1960s version picked up in a second-hand joint some time ago. Courtesy (inasmuch as courtesy can be paid for, which of course is quite a lot) of Book Depository, which will be on the list St. Peter will hold up with one hand while wagging his finger at me with the other. But also…


…don’t fret, I only bought the top two today. I bought Alain de Botton’s The Consolations of Philosophy (book club) and David Crystal’s How Language Works (editorial cred?) about six weeks ago, but today I ponied up $18.10 (RMIT staff discount!) for Delta of Venus (sentimental value) and Dark Star Safari — research for Estelle’s December-January Africa trip (should have a catchier name by now).

There should really be a ban on parentheses soon, but I’m a messy thinker, so I’m afraid they will stay put for now.

October 4, 2008

I collect old Penguins, fitfully. I try to stick to ones that I will read because the bookshelves are just dripping. But when John, Lauren, Royce, Daisy and I went on a trip to the hills a little while ago I added these to my collection:


They are, in order of appearance, Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros – The Chairs – The Lesson, Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, Brecht’s Parables for the Theatre, Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. John was v surprised that I hadn’t read the latter.

The Ionesco has a superlative cubist cover:

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July 10, 2008

yesterday lauren and john picked me up in their new (old) beamer and drove us out to nunawading, ringwood, croydon and finally sassafras, where lindt hot chocolates were had by all (except john, who had a fruits-of-the-forest “loser” tea). i think i spent about $60 on books.

our first stop was the secondhand book shop opposite nunawading station. that shop is beyond belief. books tumble to your feet as you creep between the piles. it is a book jumbleyard. it is utterly indescribable. it is also pricey, with the copy of kierkegaard’s “either/or” and the freud dictionary i bought $10 a pop. still, it’s a good place to start a foraging expedition because it gives you the taste for treasure. lauren bought two or three of an amazing time-life nature series of hardbacks she is collecting for about $5 each, only to find the whole set (of 30!) down maroondah highway somewhere for $10. oh the trials and tribulations.

somewhere in croydon i found two in a series called “how it works: an encyclopaedia of machines”, which has many rad little diagrams in black and red showing how an aeroplane stays up, aka arthur weasley’s most treasured ambition. can’t wait. predictably, also some penguins and some “women’s short stories”, a marketing terminology i detest.

you’ll be seeing some of those guys later!