A is for Atwood, J is for Jacobs

I’m working double time on my A-Z challenge, as I only have until the end of the year to finish it. I’ve done 14 books so far, and I figured I better make a serious dent in the list so I can finish the challenge by December.

I’ve finished two more books for the challenge so far this month, and am lining up more in the coming weeks.  A is for Margaret Atwood’s The Tent, a collection of short works, while J is for Kate Jacobs’ Comfort Food.

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An author’s signature increases the value of a book. Signed first editions, especially by famous authors, can cost an arm and a leg (the Holy Grail of the moment is a signed first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, at £8,000 to £10,000), and while there are no hard and fast rules in book valuation, a signed copy is more valuable than an identical unsigned one.

For me though, the potential value of the book is secondary; the biggest thrill from getting a signed copy is being able to come into contact with the author (or illustrator) of the book, whether directly (through the rare book signings that happen in this part of the world) or indirectly (e.g. rummaging through the bargain bins and hitting paydirt!).

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The weird wonders of the wanderer’s world

At the height of stress, I often choose trivia books over novels, because I’m not in the proper frame of mind to concentrate on plot, and I really can’t afford to read more than a few snippets at a time. Last week was pure madness (in my world), but one book got me through it: The Traveller’s Companion.

Whenever I could find time to just sit down and catch my breath, I’d open it and read a page or two, and it was quite a relaxing exercise, and by the end of the week, I had finished the book!

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Help me bookmarks

After the Ilustrado book launch, I was wandering around National Book Store with Flipper friend Ruby (who’s just moved her blog, by the way — I have to update my links!),  because I needed new paintbrushes for the project I’m currently working on and I found these nifty bookmarks!

As you all know, I’ve started collecting bookmarks (apt, don’t you think, since the title of my blog is ‘Bookmarked!’?), and I wanted these for my collection. These brightly colored bookmarks caught my eye — four to a set in purple, orange, yellow, and sky blue, not bad for P75 (less than $2), and I found it’s priced higher at the other bookstores (P100 at another bookstore and a whopping P275 at another!).

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Love gone awry

Since I joined the A-Z Challenge, I’ve crossed out three names on the list already. I first crossed off Trenton Lee Stewart with the first two books of the Mysterious Benedict Society, which I enjoyed tremendously. I managed to cross off two more: Emile Zola with For a Night of Love (Z); and F. Scott Fitzgerald with The Rich Boy (F).

The two books are published by Hesperus Press, a sophisticated imprint I’m growing fond of (I have Jonathan Swift’s Directions to Servants and a couple other books from Hesperus Press). Hesperus specializes in hard to find novellas and short stories of famous authors, with each book running to only 100 pages or so. I got a bunch of them on sale last year, and while I don’t normally like mass market paperbacks, Hesperus books are a welcome addition to my library — I love the concept behind the imprint and the elegance of the book design.

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