Wednesday, 30 January 2013

The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

Waterstones Vintage Modern Classics Edition. Plus Wine. Nice
So it took just over 2 weeks to work my way through this 500+ page story, at the same time reading Treasure Island. It took me a few pages to fully get to grips with the time travel aspect as I was not really sure why Henry was time travelling in the first place. It became clear though that this was pretty much central to the story, forever asking himself 'Why?'

There are two central characters. Henry the time traveller, and Clare, the wife of the title. The book questions the idea of free will from the get go and the acceptance of others. One thing I found pretty bizarre was the fact that although Henry had been time travelling since he was a boy, the number of folks that knew about it and those that ended up knowing about it grew, yet there was no real questioning from them, just simple acceptance. I went with the idea and, although the ending was pretty obvious, it was tense and overall a success. It could have cut a bit of the fat off and finished 50 pages earlier however, I would recommend it. A lovely 6.5 cushions on the Comfometer. Tied with 'The Help'

After Treasure Island, which I'm loving by the way, I'll be tackling the Hunger Games Trilogy. I LOVED the film so I'm apprehensive but I'm assured it will "blow me away", just like the 80mph wind today. Jeez.

As always I love to hear from you regarding your latest reads. Tweet or Facebook.

Michael @bigcomfybooks

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Getting sidetracked by a classic

I finished The Help by Kathryn Stockett last week and my aim was to start and finish The Time Travellers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger in a week. Well, I didn't. My 7 days expired and I was only half way through. I feel a little annoyed at myself as this is something I really want to, and need to do. There are several reasons for this. I have a 1 year old who takes up 75% of my time, 20 % of my time I spend on cataloguing books for the shop. This leaves 5% for me. I'd say 2% is spent reading and the rest flabbing out in front of the TV watching Cougar Town (My God this is underrated). Anyway when my son falls asleep in the day he tends to sleep on me or my wife for a good hour, leaving either of us unable to move. I don't mind, in fact I really like it. This weekend he fell asleep and I had in my hand just my phone. I browsed the net (for the n'th time that day) then viewed the app store. I saw the Kindle-like ebook download reader thing (not official name) and decided to investigate. It was free and came with a few classics that I'd never read.

I started to read Call of the Wild by Jack London and was absolutely gripped. I am a pretty slow reader (another excuse why I'm only halfway through Time Travellers Wife) but by the time my little one had woken I had read half the book!
You may scoff and say why is a bookshop owner getting free downloads from an e-reader? Well, I already own a Kindle (GASP!) and love it. Books are to be read whatever form they come in. Sure I'm championing the real deal (and attempting to make a living from it) but to ignore the 'competition' would be foolish, plus, shut up, I'll do what I want. (Argument won, I think)

With two books half finished I need to concentrate on one book and that may be Call of the Wild as it seems to be such an easier read. I can see me easily fitting in a few other classics from the e-reader once my son falls asleep on me once more leaving me time to finish Call of the Wild and browse the dozens (hundreds maybe) of free classics and delving in. I am enjoying TTTW but it does seem to be getting a bit drawn out. I'll be adding all the books I read (from now on) to the Comfometer. So far just The Help occupies the list at 6.5 cushions out of 10. A good solid start.

If there are book's you'd like to recommend to me then just Tweet or Facebook me or leave a comment below.


Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Waiting game

Just after Christmas I finally bit the bullet and sorted out the legal side of things for the shop. Since I finished work in August I've been circumnavigating the globe looking for great books, albeit from my laptop, and sometimes driving as far as Chesterfield to pick them up. I viewed the premises several times and put in an offer that was accepted. It suddenly became more real. Yes I'd quit my job, spent actual money on books and even a storage facility (which is about to burst!) but no 'big' amount of money had yet left my account. I guess you could say I was still umming and ahhing about it. I knew in my head and heart that I'd have to fork out a lot of money at the start to get what I wanted, and have all the right boxes ticked, but I have never spent that much money on solicitors except when I bought my house. I suddenly thought "I could easily return to my comfy desk job and get a definite wage each month right now", but then what had the past 5 months been for? I got all the paperwork out and re-read everything. I signed all that needed to be signed, wrote a large cheque, transferred an even larger amount to other places and then, felt very light headed! It's been done. I have officially bitten this dastardly bullet. That was about 2 weeks ago and now it's the frustrating waiting game. There is not a lot I can do except keep adding books to the website, updating the website and generally promote the best I can.

Along with books and the coffee shop (I need a name for this, Comfy Coffee? Cosy Coffee?) I'm also going to provide a section for local crafties and musicians. Local bands will be able to sell their wares on my shelf along with folk who spend their days making dragonflies out of wire and bags out of wool. I love the handmade culture that's become quite a 'thing' at the moment, It's one of the reasons I started the shop.

If you want to have your items on our shelves just email and let me know.

I've finally finished The Help by Kathryn Stockett and found it an enjoyable experience, with a bit of a quick ending, too quick for me. In my new chart I gave it 6.5 cushions out of 10 on the 'Comfometer'. I started The Time Travellers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger and hope to finish it in a week, that's my goal from now on regardless of admin, family and band.