Pineapple Lumps 201 – the challenge gets personal

coverOn my first day in New Zealand, ten years ago, I joined the library – so beginning my personal Cantabrian history.

My very first book was A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth – all 1349 pages of it. But I soon tried some Kiwi authors – Lloyd Jones, Fiona Kidman, Shonagh Koea, Joe Bennett. However my favourite is Laurence Fearnley (not Cantabrian, but I swear every book mentions Christchurch – if only in passing!).

Christchurch libraries saved my sorry immigrant life. And people do read  name badges. I know I did. Irene did my membership. Thank you Irene.

Recommended Reading: Anything by Laurence Fearnley.

Assignment 2: Name your favourite Canterbury author.

17 thoughts on “Pineapple Lumps 201 – the challenge gets personal

  1. Diane 4 November 2010 / 8:31 pm

    I have a theory of nearness. People need to be near each other in time, distance, affinity, or whatever for anything to happen. Irene was part of your nearness here. I never knew her, but I knew her through you. Two degrees of separation in NZ. People either fall into nearness or distance, and now that I live here, I treasure those who stay near, by whatever means.

    A fellow immigrant.

    • roberta smith 5 November 2010 / 10:09 am

      That membership really stayed with me – I stepped out of the library and I thought, I want to do a job like that, and seven years later – I did!

  2. sweet pea 5 November 2010 / 7:58 am

    Joining the library was one of the first things I did as a new mainlander too. (but can’t remember who joined me up or what I first borrowed!)

    As for recommending a Cantab author, my vote is for Carl Nixon.

    • roberta smith 5 November 2010 / 10:10 am

      I will put his name in my little book – thanks. I advise every new immigrant I meet – get yourself to the library!

  3. tewp 5 November 2010 / 10:33 am

    Have to add to this. Carl Nixon is a terrific writer. His latest novel, Settler’s Creek deals with some of the most important issues in the country yet it isn’t didactic. A really powerful book that I’d recommend to anyone. As well his play at The Forge has been praised by everyone who’s seen it.

    • robertafsmith 5 November 2010 / 11:18 am

      Hold placed – sounds great!

    • absolutelyobvious 5 November 2010 / 1:41 pm

      Reading a copy now – it is compelling.

  4. Rachel 7 November 2010 / 12:01 pm

    I was speaking to my 19 year old niece on Friday who has just returned home to ChCh after living in Halls at Otago Uni. She said the first thing she did when she arrived in Dunedin was join the library there because it made her feel like she belonged. Libraries make people feel at home.
    Oh, and my favourite Canterbury author is Fiona Farrell.

  5. zackids 9 November 2010 / 5:03 pm

    Laurence Fearnley is my favourite New Zealand author for adults. Edwin and Matilda is one of those books that I got completely lost in and I’ll never forget it.

    I’d also have to say Carl Nixon for my favourite Canterbury writer.

    • robertafsmith 9 November 2010 / 6:10 pm

      Have you read Butler’s Ringlet – I was blown away by it.

      • zackids 9 November 2010 / 6:39 pm

        No I haven’t Roberta but I’ll have to add it to my ever-growing list.

  6. valerie livingstone 9 November 2010 / 5:45 pm

    One of the first things I did when I move to NZ was join the City library. Chris Baxter filled out the enrollment form while I read the phonebook, trying to fine the address and phone number of my mother-in-law-to-be.
    Big Red Buses were the way for comunters to travel. I got lost on the way home.

    • robertafsmith 9 November 2010 / 6:09 pm

      Great memories there Valerie – do you remember the first item that you took out? How did the commuters travel when the big red buses were full of comunters?

      • valerienl 9 November 2010 / 8:52 pm

        Can’t remember what my first book to borrow was, but It was nonfiction. I only borrowed nonfiction because I couldn’t work out which fiction books were free and which ones were rental. Buses in Christchurch didn’t get as crowded as Melbourne buses, but you did get very close to people you would rather not know.

  7. Michael A 10 November 2010 / 8:27 am

    Now if only our Library system could keep the records of every book you have ever taken out, and when. It would provide an interesting insight into our lives…plus it could tell you if you’ve taken it out before (and stop those annoying page-corner-turners or circlers of page numbers. Maybe then it could Amazon-ize and make recommendations based on previous reading?

  8. robertafsmith 10 November 2010 / 11:58 am

    I thought, and please correct me here if I have got the wrong end of the stick, that when Bibliocommons is introduced, that is exactly what we will be able to do. I’ve not done the training yet, so if someone else can put us right here ,that would be great!

    • Michael A 11 November 2010 / 1:00 pm

      Maybe that is a new thread – as the users (not the librarians) what they would like in a library system?

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