Archive for July, 2012


I was directed to this post by Cheryl Bernstein today about secondhand bookshops with the quote “A great secondhand bookshop is like a rift opened up in the fabric of time and space“. Like the author of the post I often find myself in second-hand books stores and other used book places and have come up with some wonderful finds; most recently a copy of Alan Mulgan’s Home (at the dump for 10c).

(Photo stolen from here)

I think I gather books because I am an owner not a reader as discussed here . “There is a growing distinction between the book reader and the book owner. The book reader just wants the experience of reading the book, and that person is a natural digital consumer: Instead of a disposable mass market book, they buy a digital book. The book owner wants to give, share and shelve books.”

One of the things I LOVE about second-hand books are the inscriptions. For example I bought a 2 volume copy of Gibbon’s The Decline and Fall ff the Roman Empire this week.

The set once belonged to WH Ellis, a Californian engineer. I wonder how it got to Dunedin? Google only produced this WH Ellis – probably not the same one.

I have books that were high school prizes and doubly inscribed books (below). I wonder how the e-book handles this???

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A week or so back, I got to attend a showing of some of Joanna Margaret Paul’s short films at the opening of an exhibition at Brett McDowell Gallery.

The films were wonderful and two can be viewed on-line here. These I’d seen before but there were many others completely new to me. I particularly liked the lushness of ‘Roses’ and the isolating ordinariness of the everyday (Paul’s forte) e.g. ironing.

During the showing, it occurred to me how photography and particularly film, is just light, captured and store. Simple and yet amazing and illustrated when a car turned on the street outside and the headlights back-lit us through the gallery window, momentarily projecting our outlines onto the screen. In this instant we became part of the film, part of the light show.

I also thought about how impossibly delightful it would be to have a loop of ‘Napkins showing’ at my work. Recently we had some floor to ceiling windows were covered up by a blank wall and it would make a great screen….

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