Bitch on the Blog

August 9, 2010


Filed under: Despair — bitchontheblog @ 13:35

Dear Idiots (this is, according to gaelikaa, how I treat you, my cherished handful of readers of this particular blog, ie members of the consortium and entourage),

Do not dismiss being an idiot out of hand. It’s a perfect disguise allowing you to behave in ways and to say things which will slip underneath the radar of those without imagination. Just as every family has at least one black sheep (if in woolf’s clothing) so every community does need their village idiot to function in harmony. Admittedly one [idiot] is welcome, several make a crowd.

Linking back to your last Friday: It is most unbecoming to boast about the number of books your shelves are groaning under; all it indicates is that most of them you will not have read and/or given time to contemplate. I was fascinated by the claim some of you make that you read. I’d have never have guessed. Really? Few people who have learnt how to scribble the odd line do not read, even if it’s only the back of your cereal box. What do you want: A medal? And let me tell a few of you, and you know who you are: Reading books does not make you superior; neither, gaelikaa, does quantity make you an eccentric.

Magpie always throws an unusual angle on a subject rather than preening himself. Grannymar’s offering was refreshing: How many times do you come across someone who freely and happily admits to not reading that much – and standing by it? I salute you, GM. And, as you say, a (note)book with blank pages, to be filled by yourself, can make fascinating reading tomorrow and years on; particularly, if like me, you haven’t got the faintest idea what all those cryptic notes were about.

That the good Con applauds that children, like the proverbial herd of sheep, read “Harry Potter” en masse makes me want to weep.  

gaelikaa mentioned being given a challenging Mills & Boon to review. gaelikaa, just because it was given to you for free does not mean you have to be “nice”. A critic’s first obligation is not to the writer or the publisher but to the reader who might or might not buy a book on a recommendation he trusts.

As perversions go, ie dog earing pages, underlining and all other sorts of defilements (yes, Ginger) or Maria’s questionable joy of reading a book in a hot steaming bath I suppose it could be worse: A friend of mine uses them as doorstoppers or throws them at cats and dogs when caught using her front garden as their  toilet. A more gentle soul leaves the unreadable on a park bench in the hope that it’ll rain any time soon.

So, please, may some of you now go and hate me for two minutes.




  1. I almost thought this was addressed to me, but then I remembered back from my book reading that Loons and Idiots are quite distinct.

    So do you read and/or have any books in the house?

    Comment by Looney — August 9, 2010 @ 14:23 | Reply

    • Looney, so glad you have not forsaken me. As long as neither loons nor idiots become extinct there is hope for the human race.

      The answer to both your questions is a resounding yes. I generally keep the door to my study closed when I have visitors as I don’t feel need to advertise that, and what, I read. If someone shows interest, particularly my son’s friends, they are welcome to scan my shelves. A title might catch their interest – an oak grows from an acorn.

      And it’s the ‘what’ that people who boast about their reading completely forget. For all I know someone might specialise in reading telephone books. That’s great – it also means I’d never buy him a book written by anyone else than, say, Kierkegaard as a birthday present. But a sweeping self aggrandising statement of “I read” annoys me. It’s like saying “I eat”, “I breathe”. YES?????????? So?


      Comment by bitchontheblog — August 9, 2010 @ 17:20 | Reply

      • Your post is very much appreciated, because I have been pondering my own book related pretentiousness for awhile.

        Comment by Looney — August 9, 2010 @ 17:43 | Reply

    • Hey…my favourite bird…well one of them…the cry of the Loon fascinated me when I first heard a recording of one on a school nature programme back in about 195 5 possibly. The recording was made by the great Ludwig Koch

      A wonderful sound full of mystery and wildness….Imagine my delight on hearing it the first time in Canada and then being able to call them up using my cupped hands. Like some people try to call up owls.

      Comment by magpie11 — August 9, 2010 @ 21:50 | Reply

  2. I hate books, the sit on your fat ass, time wasted objects that you can feel smug that you read. A month later how much do you remember? I bet you get halfway through before you realize that you’ve read that before. I speak from experience. Not that I read. I hate books unless they are recorded on something I can carry with me while I’m doing something USEFUL.

    Comment by bikehikebabe — August 9, 2010 @ 20:12 | Reply

    • I have an image of you with the equivalent of a literary iPod and head phones with half recognised words hissing out into the world around you and infuriating people as much as the tiz tiz tizy tiz of kids and their b***** “music”.

      If Old Harry offered me one thing in exchange for my soul I might just be tempted to demand that all humans past present and future forget everything and never learn anything about portable communications devices…mobile phones, walkmans and their ilk, portable radios…you get the picture I expect.

      Comment by magpie11 — August 9, 2010 @ 22:10 | Reply

      • When one wears head phones–I call them earphones, no one can hear what you hear but YOU. If there’s something I don’t get the first time, I backtrack it. There’s words I don’t know, but I ask Tom (husband) or write them down if he’s not there.

        Comment by bikehikebabe — August 9, 2010 @ 23:05 | Reply

  3. hello there…. I have to say that I love books… we never had a television in our house until after my father died and I was not allowed a radio in my bedroom! So books it was. Quite simple all the knowledge in the world was contained somewhere in books. Paper was in short supply too so I was taught that books are treasures…or treasure chests.

    How did you know about cereal packets? I used to say to classes ,”I want you to read. I don’t care what you read as long as you read. You can read the cereal packets in the morning if you wish.”
    One day I walked not the class room and there were over thirty children reading…that’s right they were reading cereal packets… I loved that class!

    I remember the first time I was told to throw out old books from a school library. It was painful…abut it had to be done. I had never thought of books as disposable objects in my life, not even paper backs.

    Re Harry Potter…. I have to say that the phenomenon made reading “cool” again after many years…

    I would love to be able to bind books…

    As for feeling smug about books. May I be smug and mention the books I haven’t read? Another time of course.

    Comment by magpie11 — August 9, 2010 @ 22:02 | Reply

    • And Magpie11, this is why you are so smart. You read when you were young so you remember. It’s short term memory that you lose with age.

      When my husband got home from school, there were books all over the dining room table waiting for after school study. (She read the encyclopedia to his brother instead of nursery rhymes.) That’s why he’s like you. Answers any question I ask–science, literature, history, religion, politics ( He has no judgements)… He’s either reading or doing a difficult puzzle on computer.

      I don’t read. I don’t sit. OOPS I’m sitting here at my computer now.

      Comment by bikehikebabe — August 9, 2010 @ 22:54 | Reply

  4. I contributed to this conversation but my comment is not appearing. Perhaps it got lost. I can’t even remember what I said now…

    Comment by gaelikaa — August 14, 2010 @ 02:15 | Reply

  5. Ursula…….you are prominent by your absence… and I miss you. I’ve been in hospital and spent time wondering about people.

    Comment by Magpie 11 — September 23, 2010 @ 18:07 | Reply

  6. Post, Ursula post! Btw I didn’t mean it like you think so.

    Comment by gaelikaa — October 4, 2010 @ 12:23 | Reply

  7. Yes Ursula, Post. We haven’t heard from you since August 9th. Did you die? If you did, let us know.

    Comment by bikehikebabe — October 4, 2010 @ 12:29 | Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: