I haven't posted for a while, the weather has been awful, the finds in the opshops have been minimal, and I'm adapting to retro not just being a style alternative but a way of life for all of Australia.
As the joke goes, due to cutbacks the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off. Morning tea, the Pit of Despair. Last week. Off-pay week, always a dark time. Due to belt tightening, the morning papers have been cancelled. There was a brave social experiment - more capitalist, really - whereby everyone was to chip in a few cents to pay for a paper. That failed, epicaly, because it turned out that people preferred the socialist, government provided papers and long pockets and very short arms were the order of the day.
Due to my jaundiced view of the quality of press reporting, I avoid the world according to Murdoch (has nobody seen that James Bond movie* with the media mogul manipulating events for news? It was a documentary.) I take a book to work. A chap who sits nearby is also an avid reader, we have similar tastes and often share books.
The workforce, depleted by natural attrition, has divided into
three groups, the readers, the iphone game players, and the one who stares into space. Luckily, we haven't had to resort to conversation yet. It transpires that the space starer hadn't read a book in 16 years. Not because of any learning disability, but purely by choice. As you can imagine, I was stunned. Gobsmacked. Amazed. He has children, did he not even read them Pooh (the proper one); Harry Potter; Alice in Wonderland?
My son outgrew Harry Potter, but I had to have closure and kept on lining up for the books on the day they were released. My daughter insisted I read the Twilight novels. I would have preferred to poke my eyes out with a 2B pencil, I was so relieved when she lost interest. I was losing the will to live. But at least she was reading. So read them I did.
There's a thing on Pinterest, allegedly a John Waters quote, which says something like 'If you go home with somebody and they don't have books, don't f*** them.' I have to say, I think Mr Waters has a valid point. My jaw dropped even lower when my esteemed but bookless colleague actually went on to ask what could be gained from reading a book? The reading chap may have actually groaned at that point, and I believe I may have whimpered.
Knowledge. Amusement. Wit. Imagination. History. Exercise for the brain. Expanded horizons.
A house is not a home without books. A person without books is liable to remain single and unloved for a very long time. And I can't believe I'm taking dating advice from John Waters.
*Ironically, not a Fleming book.