Literary Tidbits

(Courtesy of

Lets get right down to it, I love literature and I love the different genres literature offers: prose, poetry, drama, and criticism.  If I really have to choose a favourite, mine is prose.  I certainly wouldn’t hold it against anyone though if they loved another genre, even if it wasn’t literary but more mainstream or commercial.  To each his own.  So when one friend killed another in a drunken argument in Russia, because the former insisted that poetry was superior to prose, I say it’s taking a love for literature one step too far.



Rushdie (Courtesy of
Rushdie (Courtesy of

It’s an age-old argument that we have to keep fighting for: censorship is a no! So kudos to the organisers of the Frankfurt Book Fair for sticking with Salman Rushdie as the person to open the fair, with the Iranians threatening to boycott the event if they went ahead with their plans.  And kudos to Mr Rushdie’s outspokenness against censorship.


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Things You Can Do to Books Besides Reading Them

Like most fellow book readers, my read books end up on my bookcase waiting there to be reread again.  Yet there’s always this small pile of books that I don;t plan on rereading, and that no one wants.  I’ve had friends browse through them; I’ve posted them on the Dutch version of Amazon – Marktplaats – but without any luck; I’ve even tried the secondhand bookshop and they didn’t want them.  They did offer their bin to dispose of them, but that was just too big a step to take.   Now they’re waiting in a huge blue bag underneath the bed, for their final destination, whatever that may be.

So what to do with books that are no longer wanted?  I shouldn’t have been surprised, yet I was, when I learned that there’s a whole arsenal of possibilities. Read More

Alternative Bookcases

Wandering around is something I do a lot in cities or gardens, but also on the internet.  I start out by looking for specific information, like a suitable name, and if I like it, I check what kind of associations there are.  I open a new screen and see what kind of hits I get searching on the name.  Before I can help myself, I’m reading myths, etymologies, dictionary entries… until I find myself taking quizzes on words no-one is very likely going to use.

Today, my search had to do with books; so for a change, I hadn’t been redirected to countless unrelated topics.  Although I wasn’t particularly looking for alternative bookcases, some caught my attention and I wanted to share them.

My favourites:

1) Invisible bookcase 1

Designer: Professor Neil Barron

This one can actually be purchased. Read More

Holiday Dilemma

My faithful tentEach year, I face the challenge of packing the little red Toyota with the bare necessities and the other, apparently useful, objects for camping: sleeping bags, kitchen utilities, a tent, folding chairs and a change of clothes.

This year, however, the plans are slightly different.  The trip to Ireland involves an airplane and that causes some restrictions in my preparations.  The plan is to go to Ireland, rent a small camper van and travel around for a week or two.

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Friday the 13th

©Bonnybxx @ pixabay.comThis year there are three Friday the 13ths.  The first one was in February, the second is today and the third will be in November.  Three Fridays to avoid ladders, black cats, breaking mirrors (that’s generally a good idea), and opening umbrellas while being indoors.  The list of things that are best to be postponed is long, depending on how serious you take it.

Jeopardizing the Future

The superstition about umbrellas is one I enjoy in particular.  They’re handy objects on rainy days, but they can bring some bad luck, too, by opening them indoors, or picking them up after dropping them.  And apparently, umbrellas aren’t gift material either.  (I wonder if I should be worried. I ended up with one at my wedding.  Although I’m not sure it was actually a gift; it was in a plastic wrapper, but not wrapped as a gift.)

Another one I should have known before getting married is that as a single woman you should never drop your umbrella, the chances of getting married in the future will be in jeopardy.  It’s an interesting take for  a story.

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Our Digital Writers’ Café

Workplace_EpicantusWhen we were still at uni, Cecile, Sofia and I would meet up in the library, study hall or café to write together, or better said, we would sit together and each work on our own story.  This motivated us to write, and we wrote a lot!  We could pick each other’s brain if we got stuck, or have a little break from writing and laugh together.

But… times have changed.  We no longer live, study or work in the same city any more, and having children means we are a lot less mobile.  So where to find the time, energy or motivation to write?  The days slip by and the number of unwritten stories in my brain pile up.

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Reading Is for Girls

Reading, as a past-time activity, is still regarded as something girls do, and as something bothersome that has to be done for school (i.e. the marvellous and intriguing book reports).  Looking back at my schooldays, I have to say this is quite accurate.  During the primary school days reading was fun; it became a bit more serious by the time we had to give presentations on the book we had read, but it was still enjoyable.  It changed with my A-level years, where reading books was mainly a school related activity.  The choices were limited, the assignments predictable, and, basically, just enjoying a book was not much of an option.

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