A bookish ‘off’ day

Another few ‘off’ days beckon before my first house-move in nearly a quarter of a century. One task is to sort through hundreds and hundreds of books. (Pictures of volumes up for adoption may follow.)


Meanwhile, on other shelves far away at 759, an exciting product…


Japanese potato chips/crisps ‘who have imagined caviar’ it says in French. On the pack, they look like they have narrowly escaped death in a tragic fire. In real life, they appear to be crawling with some sort of fungal infestation…


I could report them, and the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department would dispatch trucks full of enforcement officers to round up every bag of the product in town. But instead, I courageously try them. Not bad – slightly fishy and salty, pretty much as you would expect as an occasional but hard-to-impress consumer of sturgeon roe. Such desperate new varieties of snacks often last just a few months before the marketing people withdraw them in shame, so it’s now or never.


This entry was posted in Blog. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to A bookish ‘off’ day

  1. Arnaud says:

    The French text also unveil a well kept secret….caviar had been imagined by potatoes…. We are in fact living in a matrix created by the great potato master.. .well that may explain today’s world.

  2. Nosey Neighbour says:

    Where are you moving to ?

  3. Joe Blow says:

    Can someone explain to me why people buy books, read them and then put them on a shelf, never to be touched again 95% of the time, to gather dust and mold for decades, only to be discarded eventually ?

    In the 19th century books were expensive and a bookcase full of books was a sign of erudition and culture. In the 21st century it’s just nonsense.

  4. Hank Morgan says:

    @Joe_Blow are you saying that libraries (private/public) are obsolete?

    … I’ve deleted my examples ….

    paper is still more efficient and less controllable

  5. I hope you at last bought some interesting ones. The last time I looked, your bookshelf resembled IKEA for interest. Tip: stop reading American neo-con hardbacks. And toss out the ones you have.

    I put my books into a charity’s storage and didn’t pick them up. They are now in Africa. I don’t miss them.

    Books are for writing not reading. Time for my tenth. I think.

  6. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Joe Blow: Wish you would have said this sooner. Now I’m stuck with a shelf of over 200 Kindles and 140 iPads!!!

  7. SH says:

    Um… you are right-handed, and not a girl, aged between 50 and 70, in a flat of more than 450 sq. ft., a bachelor or long-term divorcee, who used to buy UK-produced books.

  8. Laguna Lurker says:

    Joe Blow is right. Any work worth preserving can be scanned and stored in .PDF format on a terabyte drive or DVDs. And—unless my eyes deceive me—what on Earth are you doing with all those antique cassette tapes, Hemmers? 🙂

  9. Knownot says:

    Can someone explain to me why people buy books, read them and then put them on a shelf, never to be touched again 95% of the time, to gather dust …

    Can someone explain to me why people buy books, don’t read them but keep them on a shelf, never to be touched again 95% of the time, to gather dust …

  10. Revolution says:

    Never read a book twice, Joe Blow?

  11. old git says:

    I own books hundreds of years old. That technology still works.

  12. Citizen says:

    @Joe Blow

    Books gathering dust and mold? Mercy me, the horror!

    Wash everything down with a strong disinfectant.

  13. @Laguna Lurker – your mention of cassette tapes highlights the problem. Any electronic format is invariably outdated within a few years, or at most decades. If you owned music on 8-track cartridges or movies on Betamax, what are your chances of being able to use them now? So how long before Kindle is superseded? By contrast, @old git is right – you can still read a Gutenberg Bible today in its original format.

  14. Joe Blow says:

    @Revolution: yes, I have. I have read Humboldt’s Gift and Portnoy’s Complaint 5 or 6 times. But the majority of books: no. Those are the 95% that I was talking about.

  15. WTF says:

    Pair fined HK$1,000 for trying to cook cat meat – wonder what you’d have got if you were caught trying to eat that chip in public.

    “A defense lawyer for Shu said she grew up in a mainland village and was ignorant of Hong Kong laws. The court was told that she thought the dead cat shouldn’t be “wasted”. Tang also expressed regret for what he did. In sentencing the pair, Magistrate Kelly Shui told them that animals are protected and respected in Hong Kong, and not all animals can be eaten here. She said they should understand the differences between Hong Kong and the mainland.

    Yes, we eat people in Hong Kong, several factories at a time, not dumb animals.

  16. Joe Blow says:

    I have also read 1 or 2 of Adams’ books (online, mind you. Not going to pay for that). And , no, I will not read that again, even if he paid me.

    @Citizen: my mother had a bookcase at home when I was a young’un. Every month she would take out the books, dust them off and clean the glass sliding panels with turpentine. I remember “For whom the bell tolls” and “Gulliver’s Travels”: big, hardback books, that she might have read once before I was born. Even as a little one I thought: what’s the point here ?

  17. Red Dragon says:

    Joe Blow

    Thanks for the timely clarification.

    I’m sure you’ll agree, however, that there’s another category of books, namely those which one never buys, never reads and, ergo, never puts on a shelf. In other words, “books” such as Gorgeous George’s previous nine and the tenth which that suave, ginger haired Northumbrian thinker now threatens to inflict on us.

  18. dog likes walk says:

    These caviar chips are a bit too salty and I didn’t really get much ‘caviar’ taste from them.

  19. Citizen says:

    @Joe Blow

    Trouble is, you sound like your hygienic mother.

    Did you ask her why she kept them? I mean they could have been gifts from loved ones, or inherited, or inscribed (To Mrs.Blow, All The Best, Ernest), or valuable or rare editions. Or hold memories from before Joe was born that didn’t involve you.

    I knew someone who literally read a page then tore it out and threw it away, ending a up with just the book cover. Neat, but crazed.

    Dr. Adams’ books may simply and safely be ignored in any format.

Comments are closed.