Following on from my previous two Love and Hates, I thought I'd post about one of those special little joys - buying a book for someone.
This has always been one of my great joys, something that I've been less able to do over the last 10 or so years. Book prices, both new and secondhand, combined with a small income, make it virtually impossible.
But sometimes you still find the bargains. There was a golden time for me with this about 20 years ago. For a while it seemed like every 6-12 months I'd find a dumpbin with "4 for $10" on it and inside would be a few copies of my all-time favourite book - The Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem. I would snap up every copy I could afford, and give them to people. It made me very happy to be able to share a book that I can re-read endlessly and love to bits.
At the The Forge Bookbarn in Bacchus Marsh, I bought four books for a total of $7.50. Two were for me, and no, no copies of Cyberiad though I checked as I always do. I can't tell you how much joy it gave me to buy the other two, Them Bones by Howard Waldrop, and Doctor Who - A History of the Universe by Lance Parkin.
I have no idea who I'll be giving them to, but at some point I'll be talking to someone and realise that no, this person needs one of these books.
And it will give me the greatest pleasure to be able to give them a copy.
I may get lynched for this - I used to like corsets, I really did - and while I don't actually hate them, I'm pretty much over them. Its that same age-old lesson, too much of anything is bad.
Wow, your breasts are jutting out and jiggling in a way that suggests two blancmanges that may escape at any moment... just like the other ten women in corsets tonight.
These days it seems like every big fannish event I go to has a sizeable percentage of its female population in corsets. They used to grab my attention, especially when part of a well-thought-out outfit, but they've ceased to be any more interesting to me than the average low-cut top. In fact it seems as if many are worn with that sort of casual attitude - it doesn't matter what else is worn because you've got a corset on. Just a corset is not enough... actually, no... just a corset would be pretty interesting on the right person! But people are wearing them with some pretty ordinary and uninspired outfits.
Yes, they are expensive, you want to get your money's worth out of them. But would you wear the same dress to every ball? A corset should be a part of a well-planned outfit, because it's not an oufit on its own.
It's become the thing to wear, and because of that, it's ceased to be special to me any more.