Welcome to Tales From the Landing Bookshelves where I hope visitors will find something to amuse, stimulate and generally find agreeable as they stop by to read. The blog will, I hope, chart my efforts to read my way around my Landing Bookshelves (aka The TBR Pile).. In other words, this is a self-imposed Reading Challenge. Please let me know if you like what you find here and pass on any suggestions via the comments box. You may also reach me through the details on the Contact Page. I will try to take negative comments on the chin, but I would appreciate it if you would put them as kindly as possible!
My background is in bookselling (in both Ireland and Britain) so this site will inevitably have a lot of book related stuff in it. I am originally from Birmingham but have been living and working in Dublin for the last eight years or so. I think I now know the city pretty well. At least, I know where to find bookshops and coffee shops and have visited as many of the cultural hotspots as I can manage. In many ways, I still feel like a tourist, which is possibly not a bad state of mind; it gives me a built in excuse to go culture-vulturing as often as I am able. At the same time, I also know where most of the branches of Tesco in Dublin can be found which is not as stimulating. Anyway, I digress…
I plan to include on the site any other cultural items that take my fancy. Arts and Events will have their own set of pages. There will however be lots of literary content here one way and another. The aim is to have a good mixture of genres and authors under discussion. Eventually I hope to ask along guest authors to talk about their latest work so watch this space. I am also fascinated by (amongst other things) reading challenges, book art, artists’ books, collectible editions, reprinted gems and so on, and on…..
But, I hear you ask, why the title? What is that all about then? The inspiration for this blog came from reading Susan Hill’s Howards End is on the Landing about a year ago. As I read, I found myself both scanning the bookshelves for unread titles and reminiscing about when and where I acquired certain books. There is often a tale behind a book purchase that adds to the experience of reading the book. There are also tales in and around the life of the writer; and one book leads to another and connections are made.
However, the clinching factor was that I do in fact also have a copy of Howards End on my landing (probably the only thing I can claim to have in common with Susan Hill). Therefore, I have decided to read my way around the unread books on the Landing Book Shelves (of which there are three sets) and keep a record of my progress here. Now, as said shelves contain mainly classics, literary fiction, and some poetry, with a small bookcase of old children’s fiction and poetry I will be diving into newer titles in between times. I plan in my first post to go into the composition of the bookshelves in more detail to give you an idea of what may be in store for you.
A note about images used on The Landing: most of the pictures will be scanned book jackets from my collection, and where they aren’t (such as images taken from Wikipedia) I’ll put in a credit. I am going to try to ensure that the image links lead the reader to an attachment page with any general or bibliographic information, but if any links don’t work or get broken please let me know.
I hope you will stop by, say ‘hi’ and check out the Landing Blog Reading Challenge from time to time. I would also love to hear about your TBR Pile and your cultural exploits whether in Ireland or further afield.
And now, on with the reading!