BEACH HOUSE BOOK CLUB
Welcome to Angie's Beach House Book Club for Good Lookin' Books
I've never been a traditional Book Worm! I've often marvelled at those people who read at any and every opportunity regardless of the distraction. Think train trips, busses, staff room lunch tables etc. These people seem to possess an uncanny ability to read and engage in conversation simultaneously. And they can often juggle more than one book at a time. I knew a girl once who would have a paperback in her hand one minute and a kindle book the next all whilst eating her lunch, and participating in the tea room banter. I guess I feel a bit guilty that I don't choose to read more, or have the discipline to make the time for it. I do treasure a good book and a well written, powerful story is something I carry with me for my whole life.
I've been invited to a few different 'traditional' bookclubs in the past, but always politely declined. Something about them make me squirm slightly inside. I suspect I fear the different personalities at the meeting will 'spoil' a treasured book for me. (Sounds strange I know. I don't feel the same way about movies for some reason?). But from the post-mortem and dissection of various bookclub evenings hosted by people I know, it seems there is often the same personalities who turn up. Invariably there is someone who either lacks awareness or doesn't care and hogs the conversation for an unethical amount of time. There is sure to be a person who is deliberately contrarian. Another person is usually in attendance who takes the book so seriously they will likely bring a series of lecture notes and those who (probably someone unreliable like me) haven't quiet finished reading the book! Gulp.
While I could certainly work on my tolerance levels, I suspect there is a secondary problem with the 'traditional bookclubs', and that comes down to the choice of book. In my old life in retail, part of my clerical duties was to return books to our suppliers for credit. I would scan the different titles, and there were always sections of books I was more interested in scanning than others. I always wondered why the 'Top 10' Bestsellers, often turned me off, when they were so popular. After repeating this task often enough, I realised it was the uninspired covers that bothered me. Big, bold embossed titles in unattractive metallics! They must be good inside I thought! And that's when the old adage 'Don't judge a book by its cover' would come rushing back to me.
I have often attracted unsolicited criticism from my friends for the importance I place on 'a good looking book'. However, I believe it is entirely appropriate to 'judge a book by its cover'. The cover artwork is important to me as part of the overall experience of treasuring a great book. There is no dispute that you eat with your eyes, so surely we can extend this sensory argument to the attraction of books? Why should a book be an exception to the saying that 'You can never undo a first impression'. That's not to say I am so shallow that will only read books with good-looking covers. I have read my share of ugly ducklings. I will just admire it even more if the same amount of love went into the dust-jacket cover as well as the content. That's all.
I love exploring a traditional beach shack or holiday home and studying the selection of nautical titles. I know by the covers that these stories have been enjoyed many times over the years, filling in the long rolling hours of hot summer afternoons. The covers seem to contain the contented memories from those who turned the pages during an extended stay by the sea. It was at one such beach shack in Sydney that the idea for this particular bookclub came about. I was running my finger over the spines of the old, dusty books and studying the titles. There was the usual classics like 'Moby Dick', and other familiar stories of adventure on the High Seas. I found I was disappointed that I had not read many more of the titles that I saw, particularly the great American stories, full of the rich nautical history of Nantucket and Cape Cod. I decided to make a mental note, and go home and purchase some copies to read.
The search for these titles, lead me to discover some things about myself that I'm not proud to admit. I'm particularly greedy for a Rare First Edition (especially an old hard-cover), and that the Cover Art and condition of the Dust-Jacket is almost always essential to the purchase. And so Angie's Beach house Bookclub for Good Lookin' books was born! Specifically designed for people who, like me, share the same passion for a good looking book, who love to have their imaginations ignited by a great cover, and for those who want to display a treasured book as well as read it!
I hope you might join me and I'd love to hear your thoughts about this unorthodox bookclub! I hope to bring you a selection of great vintage titles that may not have heard and celebrate great old books that might have fallen into obscurity. I hope to also review some old films. I hope you might forward some recommendations and reviews of treasured old books or films you love so that I might post them here for us all to share. It's very unlikely you will find any Top 10 contemporary best sellers here, although vintage children's books are not off the table. You are never too old for a great children's book! And most importantly we will absolutely be judging the book as well as its cover. Can't wait to see what good lookin' titles we can find!