Sunday, October 30, 2016

Woohoo! Selling Up My Books!

Well, that got your attention, didn't it?

Don't lie, it did...

I'm kidding around. I'm not selling up all my books, just about 52 or so of them. They're in my Classics Section and I'm getting rid of them because I've already got my own lot of books which are classics themselves - yes, I have doubled-up on about a third of them.

I know, I know, I really shouldn't be doing that, but when I find an omnibus of Edgar Allan Poe, of all his horror stories, exactly where am I to go from there? So, the best thing I thought of doing the other night, while I was chilling out in my Reading Chair, was to sell the books I had received for Christmas over 6 years ago - the whole set with the magazines - on Gumtree and pull apart my collection and find the Classics I have hiding amongst the shelves.

And did I find some great classics! Man, I found some wonderful books I didn't know I had bought! But I was so happy to have found them and finally have a place to put them. When I told my Dad (who loves it that I'm a collector of books, but sometimes finds my collection a little overwhelming), he was really surprised I was getting rid of so many in one go. But when I told him what they were, he understood that when you do have a good look at what you have - once in a while - you realised you can double-up, sometimes triple-up on things and you have to get rid of them. 

So, the advert is now on Gumtree and I'm hoping to sell them all in one go to a home where there's a collector of these types of books or somebody out there will enjoy them for their content; not just to collect. Well, have you ever had to reavaluate your book collection (or any collection in that case?) Until my next post, happy reading.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

ARC Books

I've been a reader of ARC books for years. They are a type of book which is sent out to a group of readers before the book is published so the publishers can tell what little things needs to be fixed. 

Now, I didn't always know about them; I was introduced to them by a friend online and she asked if I'd like to try one out. My first one was 'The Gone-Away World' by Nick Harkaway. Now, this book has since been published years ago in 2009, and was followed up by another by Nick. And getting into receiving ARC books is a good way of reading and proofreading people's works for them - and reading books which aren't out on the market yet. You really do feel as though you're seeing behind the curtain before the show has begun.

It's not easy to find ARC books - as they're not in the ordinary circles of publication. Usually you have to ask publishers if there's any ARC books for you to read for them. It's mainly done online and you have to fill out a survey to let them know what you think needs to be done - as it's not just a free book thrown your way to be read. You have to give your honest opinion of feel the book needs - or doesn't - and how the author can improve the book. 

Sometimes, this can be a sore point with the writers, but this is a good way of letting a small group of the public in on how the book works - or not - with them before the book is let out into the world. Small improvements through allowing ARC books out 6 months or so beforehand plays really well for the author. You see, when they do this for a first book, the author then knows what they have to do for the next book to be a success; no matter how insulted they feel at the time. 

The good thing with ARC books that the reader can either keep the book for their personal collection or they can return it to the publisher. I opt to keep my copies as they're something of rarity. And a lot of the times, I do find they end up in second-hand bookstores (which isn't where you're supposed to send them). I do enjoy my small band of ARC books and do wish to keep them in my collection; keep adding to them. So, have any of you done any ARC book readings? How did you find it? I enjoyed being a part of the final product of a writer's book... even if they didn't end up using my part of the survey; at least they knew where I was coming from. With 'The Gone-Away World' I did find the final copy in a bookstore and looked in the first couple of pages and found that what I had advised about making it more visual worked. The author had worked more on taking the reader along for the ride, rather than keeping us at arm's length (which was how I was feeling at the time). I felt good about that. I might see what other ARC books are on offer next year to take part in. Until my next post, happy reading.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Jack London

I love finding books about authors where movies have been made from their works. For example, 'White Fang' and 'Call of the Wild' were both by Jack London and were both made into great films. 

I have come across these books on their own in bookstores and libraries, however, I have never seen them with their accompanying books 'Tales of the Fish Patrol', 'The Cruise of the Dazzler' and 'The Son of the Wolf: and other stories' in one big volume. 

I found this particular volume by chance at my local community centre on an old library trolley where my craft group usually gathered. I happened to be walking by it (trying to ignore those gorgeously lovely books sitting there tempting me) when my eyes wondered to the large printing of Jack London's name on the spine... then, I found myself picking it up and reading the front; and found it contained the rest of the books and stories within! Oh! What a find!

It was wasn't until I got this book home that I found out that it was a first edition from 1979, fully illustrated and that the copy of 'White Fang' was 'complete and unabridged'... how cool is that! I definitely had a great find here for just .50c! It was also a book which had been originally sold at Myers at a discounted price. Now, for those of you who don't know what Myers is, it's a major department store here in Australia which is usually very expensive. However in the 1970's, it sold things on sale and had discounted books - just like everyone else - before it upped its standards really high; and rarely does that anymore.

On the inside, where the publishing notes are, I found a couple of paragraphs about him, and I'd like to share them with you:

'Jack London was born illegitimate and in poverty in California in 1876. At fifteen he was the notorious 'Prince of the Oyster Pirates' on San Francisco Bay. At seventeen he shipped as a seaman on the Sophie Sutherland for Japan; later he served a term for vagrancy before joining the Klondike Gold Rush. He read voraciously and by the age of twenty-four was publishing in magazines; by thirty he was famous. In this relatively short writing career (1899-1916) he wrote over fifty books; h was also an ardent socialist,  a pioneer in modern agriculture, a war correspondent in Korea and designed and sailed his own ship halfway around the world.

London's most famous work is contained in his stories of the far North based on his own experiences, he wrote other stories for children (Tales of the Fish Patrol, The Cruise of the 'Dazzler') and he also wrote adult fiction, plays, travel sketches and important sociological books, the best known of which are The People of the Abyss and John Barleycorn.

He died in 1916, the world's first millionaire novelist.'

I found this short insight to Jack London interesting, and didn't wish to keep it to myself. Until my next post, happy reading. 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Unable To Read

This past week, I was hoping to get my nose into some creepy books - for October and Halloween. However, I've had enough creepiness going on around my real life to cater my imagination for yonks.

I haven't been sleeping all that great and so, my focus for reading isn't here. I started 'Magician' by Raymond E Feist and this stalled when things became complicated around my unit complex. 

Don't you hate it when life interferes so much with everything else, it stuffs up what you really want to do in your spare time? Yeah, me too. So, 'Magician' is on hold at the moment, sitting there staring at me with a bookmark only a tiny way through chapter 1. 

If only I hadn't asked the neighbour two doors down to turn down his music, none of this would have happened... no, it would have, but much later. How frustrating this is. Well, my posts should improve soon once things settle down. Until my next post, happy reading!