Books - Notebooks
Somewhere, I read that writing on flysheets devalued a book. This had an effect. For years, I did not mark my books. The impact of that message wore off some time ago. Maybe I woke up to the fact that I will not be disposing of my books for value. They are mine and likely to remain so until my last day.
Since that Eureka moment, my books are full of notes - any references to another book; things demanding further investigation; or maybe just a new word or interesting expression. These were originally margin notes – but easier to find later if on flysheet and blank pages to back.
Those who inherit (or borrow) my books will likely have some fun reading the notes.
Shakespeare & Joyce
There was a queue for this English bookshop in Paris. It was a joy. I highly recommend for anyone who likes books or bookshops.
I had selected one book and was looking at shelves near the entrance. The book search had fallen into second place to the eaves dropping of the conversation between the English girl and Irish lad working behind the counter.
I was intrigued when she suggested that every child born in Ireland should be given a copy of ‘the book’. I had to ask.
He had just finished Finnegan’s Wake – the book she was proposing be in every household. He said that he read it without worrying too much about it making sense. He had read much of it aloud to himself.
I was tempted. I have never read a book by James Joyce. Tempted as I was, I reckoned Finnegan’s Wake was not the place to start and it would become an unread dust-collector.
I compromised on a pocket edition of Dubliners – and I got the bookshop’s stamp to prove it.
It came off the shelf a short while back. The first page of the very first short story, ‘The Sisters’provided the first of many entries on the notes page. ‘Simony’ and ‘stirabout for supper’soon followed, and that was even before the first page was completed.
The first entry was ‘Gnomon’ – a word I had no recollection of ever hearing.
Having reverted to Chambers, I now know that I have seen a GNOMON – one of the definitions anyway.
By my own notes, I might fall into the examining category.
I very much like the sound and the look of the word – the challenge now is to manoeuvre it into conversation…..
Word origin of 'gnomon'
gnomon noun 1 on a sundial: the raised arm that casts the shadow which points to the hour. 2 math the remainder of a parallelogram after a similar parallelogram has been removed from one corner.
If I ever set another quiz, the name of the sundial shadowmaker is likely to make an appearance – ‘gnomon’ having joined ‘ullage’ in that group of lovely sounding words.
| || |
To you, we sing this happy song’
The similarity in sound is reason enough to bring me back thirty five years when I first heard Children of Lír by Loudest Whisper – reason enough to share that it is in Wexford tonight.