Big may be beautiful, but small is seductive!

Spoiler Alert: I am talking about books here.

I love small squarish books. I like the feel of them in my hands, their unexpected heft, their solidity. Customers in libraries ask all sorts of questions, like  “Where are your Biographies? Do you have any Italian books? How do I log-on to the computers?” and “Where are the toilets?” to name but a few. But as of yet, no one has ever asked me to direct them to the Small Seductive Books section.

A Dog a DayBut just recently I have been spoilt for choice. Here are 5 small, but perfectly formed chunky little books: A Dog a Day by Sally Muir is a collection of Muir’s dog drawings – a different dog every day over 365 days. I am moved by this book in more ways than one: I love drawing (and I try to draw every day), I love dogs (though Muir has omitted Scottish Terriers – what was she thinking?), and it is small and  squarish. Win, Win, Win.

In the midst of the dreary grey winter weather that was such a feature of life in Christchurch a few weeks ago, a small jaunty book stood out from all the drabness and said “Pick Me!”, and that’s how Brolliology (A History of the Umbrella in Life and Literature) ended up in my book bag. What substances are these people imbibing to get such an off-the-wall idea as linking literature and umbrellas? Whatever it is – Give It To Me Now!

Everyone know’s that I love café culture, that I never take my meals at my workplace, but each day treat myself to a capuccino at a nearby café. Some libraries even have café’s on site – that works too. Lonely Planet’s Global Coffee Tour is a neat little book that I wish I’d had in my possession when we travelled to Italy. I checked out the New Zealand and  South African cafés and I am pleased to report and I am ahead of the pack in these two countries. If you are about to travel, have a flick through this muscular little number.

Now, let’s put it all to music. Donna Leon, well known crime novelist has brought out a beautiful little book on an intrinsic aspect of Venetian life: the Gondola, and it comes with its own CD of well known Gondolier renderings. This book is arguably one of the most beautiful books I have ever held. It is also informative and entertaining. One of the first chapters “I Think I Could Do This” tells of a dinner guest who was given the blueprints of a gondola as a gift. It took him over 5 years to build, and 32 men to lift its 350kg weight onto the truck that would take it to its launching place. That’d keep Greg busy in his retirement!

And finally, step aside Hygge, because Japonisme is about to knock you right off your perch. In an exploration of your Ikigai (purpose), Kintsugi (repairing broken ceramics with gold) and wabi-sabi (the transience of life) and more, you will be gently exposed to much wisdom, such as:

One who smiles rather than rages is always the stronger.

Japanese Proverb

And I am delighted to tell you that all the above-mentioned seductively small books did indeed make me smile.

Recommended Reading:

Wish I was there …

It has been lovely to see the sun, after such a gloomy June – but as my family reminded me, we still have two months of winter to go. I keep thinking that I should have booked a midwinter break to somewhere sunny and warm. I think I will start planning now for next winter and here is my starting place for research. We have an great collection of always available Lonely Planet travel guides from OverDrive, no holds or waiting, there for you to read straight away with your Christchurch City Libraries card and password / PIN.

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OverDrive offers Lonely Planet travel guides!

Did you know that under the city of Paris there is a series of catacombs that contain the mortal remains of approximately six million Parisians? Their bones had been transferred to old quarries under Paris to relieveBook cover overcrowded cemeteries in the 18th and 19th century. How do I know this? It is just one of the many tips I have found from the Lonely Planet e-book guides now available on OverDrive!

You can find out where the best shopping is in Hong Kong, or learn how to bargain in the dusty  souqs (markets) of Egypt! You can find out how to hunt for truffles in Italy and establish the cheapest way to get around California? Your answers lie within!

All titles are “maximum access”. This means they are always available! So no holds or waiting necessary and you and your traveling partner can download the same guide onto your own devices! That way no fighting!

Enjoy – and if you need someone to carry your bags please feel free to give me a yell. Please? I have a student loan and mortgage so am not too proud to beg!