Saturday, 14 July 2007


I have lots of books. Literally piles of them. I haven't had time to catalogue them, so I can't give you a precise number. Somewhere around 400 is my best guess. (In case you're wondering, that's just books with beer-related themes. There are boxes full of French and Czech novels, too.)

All the time I put into learning to read a dozen languages finally paid off. My book collection spans many tongues - Dutch, French, Danish, Swedish, Czech, Polish - but the majority are in English or German.

How have I built up my collection? In the dark days before the internet, I had to trawl through secondhand bookshops in the hope of finding something interesting. Mostly, I didn't. Internet shopping has made the process much less time-intensive.

Why am I telling yo all this? Because a book arrived yesterday. A book I had been longing to get hold of: "The Anchor Magazine 150th Year Commemoration 1781-1931". Yes, it's about Barclay Perkins.

I mostly order through ABEbooks. It works very well. I search their database, send off the order and a week or so later the book drops onto my doormat. I've ordered over 100 books this way and it's only ever gone wrong twice.

Some invisible thread binds me to Barclay Perkins. One day I'll work out what it is. The twice my orders went wrong were both for the same book: "The Anchor Magazine 150th Year Commemoration 1781-1931". My first attempt to buy it was back in January. After three months I reconciled myself to its disappearance and ordered a second copy. April 26th. That was the date.

The conditions say 45 business days, but usually it's a week at most between order and delivery. By the end of June I'd given up hope on the second copy, too. Then yesterday it popped through the letterbox. My joy is so unbounded that I had to share it with you.

Back to Mild tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Skoro mowisz po polsku...znasz ta sajte?

Bardzo interesujacy.

Ron Pattinson said...

Yes, I know it well. Though my Polish is pretty limitrd. It's mostly just converted Czech.

Terry said...

I'll match your Dutch, Czech, French, German and Swedish, and raise you Lithuanian and Portuguese ... unfortunately I don't speak any of them, but the pictures are nice ... fortunately I'm able to fend off my wife's complaints about how much space the beer-and-pub book collection takes up by pointing out that they're all used for research for articles (true) and as a result all purchases can be claimed against tax (also true ...)

Ron Pattinson said...

I pretend to be able to read all the books I have. Polish is really hard going. Though, when I did some research on Finalnd, Estonia and Latvia, Polish seemed like a piece of piss.

Maybe I should try claiming the cost of my books against tax. Then I could buy 50% more (I live in Holland).