Words, sounds, pictures

Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk
Wed Nov 14 10:59:40 EST 2001

Melissa wrote:

> And just to be completely tangential, I was reading an online forum the
> other day, people talking about what to do when you can't play
> EverQuest--like READ A BOOK--and a couple of people said very proudly that
> they just go through books too fast for that to be a viable option.  Excuse
> me?  This is something to be proud of?  There are just too many books in the
> world for that to ever happen.

Ouch!  Reminiscent of a recent trip to Leicester.  I don't think I've mentioned
this on the list before, but I was at a secondhand bookshop, and the guy in
front of me in the queue was chatting to the proprietor.

Proprietor: Have you tried our new science fiction room?  I've recently
completed it.

Customer: I might have a look, but I expect I've got everything.  I've got most
science fiction books now, about 3000 of them.

Me (thinks): Come again?  If you've only got 3000 books, you've barely scratched
the surface of the science fiction corpus!

I later estimated that the science fiction room in that shop, Black Cat Books
(It contains fantasy as well, and is well worth visiting if you're in Leicester)
probably contains 3000 distinct titles, and it was surprising how many of my
favourite authors were not even represented.  No Claudia Edwards, no Sylvia
Engdahl, no Connie Willis, to name three who spring immediately to mind.  (But I
did get Sorcery and Cecelia on that trip - the only Wrede I've _ever_ found in a


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