wheresmycow: (sherlock03)
It's 8:25 am right now and it's miserably dark, damp, and freezing. I like it. Thinking of breaking out my Who scarf later tonight for class.

In other news, Sherlock series 2 now has an airdate! "A Scandal in Belgravia" airs in the UK on New Year's Day! *snoopy dance*
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My Sherlock DVD finally arrived, thanks to my aunt who flew in from LA this morning:

The Philippine Bureau of Customs is one of the most idiotic and corruption-rife departments in the government. They once tried to extort charge me P10,000 in taxes for an iPod and the Criterion Collection Withnail & I DVD because "they were not declared as gifts" (which begged the question of who was supposed to declare them a gift anyway, my cousin Beverly or me? I was ready to scream "THEY'RE GIFTS!" right in the middle of the Customs office). Given the Great Book Tax Debacle of 2009, is it any wonder that sensible Filipinos avoid sending parcels by post as much as possible and instead choose to send home gifts and other packages through their expatriate relatives's balikbayan boxes?
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...and thus a non-working holiday. Good thing I'd run over to the bank yesterday and paid the credit card bill.

So today, blew off work (because, again, non-working holiday, so even though I work from home, hello holiday) and blew chunks out of my savings account with lo, many, many books.

A couple of the really interesting books I picked up:

   (From the Introduction) Clearly, one of [Chesterton's] chief strengths as critic is a wit that matches Dickens's own. The book is full of memorable expressions. To give a few examples:
[Dickens's] art is like life, because, like life, it cares for nothing outside itself, and goes on its way rejoicing. Both produce monsters with a kind of carelessness, like enormous by-products; life producing the rhinoceros, and art Mr Bunsby. [p10]

If Dickens learnt to whitewash the universe, it was in a blacking factory that he learnt it. [p21]

Other people's lives may easily be human documents. But a man's own life is always melodrama. [p101]

(From the cover) In our zeal to embrace the wonders of the electronic age, are we sacrificing our literary culture? Renowned critic Sven Birkerts believes the answer is an alarming yes. In The Gutenberg Elegies, he explores the impact of technology on the experience of reading. Drawing on his own passionate, lifelong love of books, Birkerts examines how literature intimately shapes and nourishes the inner life. What does it mean to "hear" a book on audiotape, decipher its words on a screen, or interact with it on CD-ROM? Are books as we know them dead?

At once a celebration of the complex pleasures of reading and a boldly original challenge to the new information technologies, The Gutenberg Elegies is an essential volume for anyone who cares about the past and future of books.

My bedside table pile, it is teetering.

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December 2011

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