Reading while you wait

Richard reading while he waits
Richard reading while he waits

Three in the afternoon is as good a time as any to meet a complete stranger in Cathedral Square. “I’ll be the one with shopping bags,” Bridget said. She was on holiday from Dunedin.

We were meeting as part of the Read while you wait flash mob. There was no mob involved, and certainly no flashing, but we were reading in public in a random act of literacy that spread its tentacles from Malaysia and spread via the internet. Kim Hill even mentioned it on Radio New Zealand National this morning.

Bridget, her daughter and friend Soni were there reading and there was a guy reading a comic book by the chess. Donna and I arrived a bit late to see Bridget, but read among the people. I rang Bridget after the event and she was having coffee in Ballantynes and wondering where all the school librarians were? Does apathy rule, she asked.

Bridget suggested we all “break out” in New Zealand Book Month and do some reading in public.

Richard and Isaac
Isaac and Richard

On the way back to the central library we spied a young busker doing his thing. Donna asked if he’d have his photo taken for the blog. He was very happy, as the crowds had been “pretty generous.”

I wrote down his name.
“Isaac”, he said. “Westenra.”
Good things can happen when you sit beside someone with a book and talk. Next time it would be good to have a few more along – you never know who you might meet.

Oddest book title

It’s Saturday afternoon and for a bit of light relief you may like this piece of useless information from the Guardian weekly. The quest is on to find the oddest book title in the last 30 years.  Here are some of my personal favourites, but if you want to look at the article and the complete list then check this out.

  • Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice
  • The Book of Marmalade: Its Antecedents, Its History and Its Role in the World Today
  • Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality
  • How to Shit in the Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art
  • How to Avoid Huge Ships
  • American Bottom Archaeology
  • Highlights in the History of Concrete
  • Reusing Old Graves
  • Butterworths Corporate Manslaughter Service
  • The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification