Sorry it has been so long since I said hi, but my once-weekly chats with you have been curtailed somewhat by a combination of travel, work to pay for travel, and trying to get my first book finished in the next month or so in order a) to get it to the people who have already ordered it (and those still to order it) sometime this decade, and b) to have it done before Portuguese Summer kicks in, and I have to make the agonising decision between sleeping on the beach and slaving over a hot Mac.
I don’t suppose a photo of me reading on a camel would placate your undoubted anger at my extended absence?
No? Oh well, it was worth a try.
Suffice to say that the book is going well, and there are only about five chapters left to go before the minor work of proof-reading, editing, formatting, cover-designing, printing and distributing.
In the meantime, I wanted to share this thought with you: as both a traveller and a reader, it is sometimes the smallest things which surprise, delight or infuriate me about cultural literary norms, and one of them which occurred to me recently was book spines in the Portuguese speaking world.
Firstly, in Portugal book titles and authors are usually printed on the spines in the opposite direction to the way I am used to in most of the rest of the world: to be read with the book horizontal and the front cover on top. This means that I have to read rows of books in market stalls from the wrong direction…except, even worse than that, the rule doesn’t hold for all books, so I find myself twisting my neck backwards and forwards in order to rapidly run my gaze over the titles on offer.
How we suffer for our passions…
Even more bizarrely is the fact that whilst in Salvador de Bahía, Brasil, I discovered that books were arranged alphabetically by author’s name…but by their first name!!
The world truly is a varied and wonderful place!
I’ll be back soon with some rather belated monthly reading and buying lists/recommendations: until then, feel free to send words of encouragement to get me over the finishing line of literary completion, and if you haven’t ordered the book yet, it’s never too late!