Tuesday, February 06, 2007

My computer is a hypochondriac

My computer’s security thought it had a worm. It didn’t. But it worried and worried and as a safety measure, it blocked me from sending emails. My lovely friend C has spent all afternoon stroking and reassuring it, and on the phone to the helpdesk of the security system. It appears to be cured.

Have you found me C?

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This morning I had book club – we read Alias Grace this month. It’s the first book of Margaret Atwood’s that I’ve really enjoyed, although I still have issues with it. I’ve realized that I struggle with books that are fictionalized versions of real events. When I read fiction there’s no dilemma for me about what’s based on research and what is artistic license; if it’s good, I just believe in the world that’s been created but the same can't be said when it's fiction mixed with fact. I can't cope with a mixture. For some reason I don't know which bits to believe.

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A week or so I was sent a note about a bookcrossing group that someone was starting in Bangkok, and so tonight we met at Kuppa on Sukhumvit Soi 16 (one of my favourite restaurants). I went with my friend C, and I already knew one person there from my apartments, but all the others were new faces: lovely. Hello bookcrossers.

I love the idea of bookcrossing for the same reason as discovering someone who has read and loved the same book as you; it’s so lovely to share the joy you got from it. However, I have a small problem: I want to keep all my books – even the rubbish ones. There’s always something redeeming about them (how not to do it, gorgeous cover, or just by nature of the fact that they are a book and somehow precious). I tried to explain to C why (I wasn’t sure) but they are like trophies or a maybe a curriculum vitae. They go some way to explaining some of the stuff in my head, some of who I am. So I turned up at bookcrossing NOT having brought any books which was embarrassing as everyone else had books to swap. I promised them I would put myself on a 12 step programme to overcome needing to keep all books. I said I was uncomfortable taking books when I hadn’t brought any, and they were all the embodiment of generosity and said ‘take in advance’. What lovely people.

Having a crisis about my weekend away: the hotel is full and I can't find anywhere else to stay nearby. I want to look at mountains...

8 comments:

liz fenwick said...

JJ hope the hotel issue is resolved!

Maht, one of the racers provided a wonderful means of procrasentation called the library thing. Reading of your quite understandable obcession with your books it might be for you. Find it here http://www.librarything.com/. Enjoy.

Carol and Chris said...

I've found you JJ!!

I can't sleep and have just gone back through and read your blog a second time - made me laugh out loud!!

(Who say's you can't write!! Bash that Demon on the head and get going girl!!)

Cx

Jenny said...

Ah, I'm with you on the 'keeping books for myself' front - the times I've given books away, I've always regretted it. They're like friends, whether easy or the grumblesome ones who are just that bit more work.

Hope you find some beautiful mountains to inspire you - will you post some pictures? Am totally envious; I'm writing this at 6.15 am and it's -5 degrees outside my door. Brrrrrr... Send us sunshine and mountains, I implore you!!!!

x

JJ said...

Oooh, hotel has been sorted. I'm now going somewhere altogether classier, and hang the expense! It's even got mountains, which is a huge relief. I'm guessing this must be about missing rural scenery, as we don't get a lot of that in Bangkok!

Liz, I saw Maht's entry about that i REALLY fancied it (I used to play librarian at the children's school in the UK) but I deliberately didn't go and explore because I don't need any more reasons to put off getting those words down! But as you can see I HAVE made a start...

C, so glad you've found me!

Jenny, I got quite excited about choosing books when I came home last night from the bookcrossers thing. But husband said 'yeah, til the next meeting, and then you'll take them out of the bag and put them back on the shelf! Eeewh, he's probably right! Do you know, I even contemplated for a short while, buying some books to give away! How stupid?

I will post some pictures - getting very excited. Incidentally, are you Jen at Spiral Skies?

JJ

Helen said...

I see your word count thingy has moved off...well done...that must feel good.

P.S The only people I can lend books to are my mum, grandma and sister. No-one else at all. I am incredibly protective of my paper friends(!)

JJ said...

Hi Helen

It does feel good actually. I'm still in dangerous territory, I'm glad to be mostly alone in front of the pc (occasional interruptions from the kids) as I'm talking to myself, and that damn demon critic that tells me my time would be better spent playing bejeweled! I'm just not listening but I'm also telling myself not to worry about anything, just to get the words down... Fingers would point in public at this batty woman!

I'm so glad I'm not the only one to be unable to part with my books. We do need the space on the bookshelf, but I fail to see why we don't just buy another one? Simple, eh?
JJ

Helen said...

I've just persuaded my husband to buy yet another bookshelf. This one however, is for all my 'important writing work'! We bought one a few months ago for our bedroom which is now full of books. I might even have to move my moisturisers etc to make way for them!

My demon critic is out in full force today as I had a bad assignment back from my tutor...I think it must happen to us all!

Jenny said...

Yes, JJ, it's me!! For some reason, blogger won't let me be the 'real' me!

Ooh, a swanky hotel with mountains AND peace and quiet? You can't believe how envious I am!!

x