It’s been a strange day. The whole weekend has been odd, actually. I’ve been kind of floating around, feeling all out of sorts, and I haven’t been able to put my finger on exactly why I’m feeling this way.
I don’t know if it’s because we’re approaching the end of winter, or because my poetry doesn’t seem to be flowing the way it used to, or because I’m overloading myself with things to do. I just don’t know. I was going to write yesterday, but, out of character, I deleted my post and decided not to publish anything at all. Anyway, I thought I’d share some musings with you and, in the process, hopefully write this ‘floaty, out of sorts’ feeling out of my system.
On A Book That’s Disappointed Me
For two of the projects I’m currently working on, I need to do a colossal amount of research. I don’t mind this at all, in fact, I love it that I need to read, and read, and read some more. Naturally, this research requires the purchasing of books. Another thing I don’t mind. But, what I do mind is when a book doesn’t live up to expectations.
One such book was a collection of writings about Winter which I’d paid quite a bit for. It arrived a few days ago and today I settled down to read it, with my notebook and pen to hand, ready to ink up some pages with inspirational passages. But I didn’t copy anything inspirational down because I found myself bored senseless within the first half an hour of starting to read. (I didn’t get very far in half an hour, it was a hard read.) I leafed through the rest of the book, slowly at first, then frantically, trying to find something, anything that could inspire me and contribute to my research. But there was next to nothing. The few good pieces were ones I’d encountered before, such as The Snowdrop by Hans Christian Anderson. (Read it when you have a moment!)
I say I was disappointed. On reflection, disappointment doesn’t come close to how I felt when I put the book down knowing I’d never open it again. Of course it’s my fault at the end of the day. Perhaps if I’d spent more time reading reviews or had actually endeavored to find chapters available online I’d never have had to write this sad account. *By the way, I bought this book before I signed up for the digital libraries I talk about below.
On Signing Up With Two Digital Libraries
One of the best decisions I’ve made this year has been to sign up with two digital libraries, Scribd and Perlego, both of which offer a free trial. I’m probably years late to the digital library party, but I’m always late to everything.
I’m a few days into my free trail, and I’ve decided the £9.99 monthly fee Scribd charges is going to be absofuckinglutely worth it. And, I mean, I have about thirty books lined up as ‘to read’ on my online shelf, and there’s no way in hell they’re getting abandoned.
*Update: Scribd was too good to be true. I’ll talk about why in another post because right now I’m feeling extremely fucking sad about it.
I know I haven’t talked about the awesomeness of Perlego (it’s been described as ‘the Spotify for textbooks) but time is galloping away this evening and I still need to write my ‘To Do This Week’ list! I’ll talk more about the brilliance of digital libraries from my perspective in a future post though. Get excited!
On Approaching The Last Week Of Winter
As I mentioned in my opening, it might be the fact we’re approaching the final ‘official’ week of winter that’s making me feel so off. It was warm out today. Peculiarly warm. I was sweating profusely when I went out for my run. I was standing out in the garden in the afternoon and it felt like the middle of spring already. Not good, especially considering we had -10 last week.
‘That plants won’t know what’s hit them,’ my dad said. There’s also been some serious gales smashing through. I’ve been thinking of the birds and the plants out there. I know snowdrops are hardy – they originate from much harsher climes – but I look at them with pity when I see their shy little heads being battered. While Winter is the subject of my writing all year round, in which case it’s always in my mind and heart, I want nothing more than to head north of the tree line, past the Arctic Circle, where I can meet with the cold again.