The Great British Adventure: Vacation Reading
The Great British Adventure: Giving up the ghost.

The Great British Adventure: Books and Brits

Just because we didn't do much reading in Great Britain didn't mean we were wholly divorced from the written word.

For one thing, the first night we were there was the night they announced the winner of the Booker Prize, which was an event that was not only televised but which featured authors wearing sparkly dresses and tuxes. It was awesome; the whole show was very similar to the Oscars and featured rampant speculation beforehand about who would win. The newspaper we bought that day was The Guardian, so we also had a handy "Digested Reads" guide to all the contenders. I have never been a big fan of any Booker Prize-winning novels, but I must admit that evening dress and a televised event seems the proper approach to giving books awards, and we should do it more here.

I was also struck at the number of huge posters advertising a number of new books, in the Underground and throughout the city (particularly in London)--I saw Eoin Colfer's new addition to Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, And Another Thing, advertised so often that I just had to have it.* Do books get these big posters in big American cities, too? Would someone who lives in a big city enlighten me on this?

Last but not least, while we were in London one of their biggest newspapers, The Evening Standard, forged a new path by making itself free. Evidently for years it was sold by hawkers in the street, at 50p** a pop, but now those same hawkers were just handing it out. There was a lot of commentary on the news about whether or not the strategy would work, which is a story I'm going to try and follow, as I'm curious about it.

All in all it was a surprisingly word-driven vacation, which I appreciated almost as much as the beautiful scenery and cultural and historical sites. Tomorrow: Some manner of picture, I promise. They're on my laptop, but figuring out how to resize them is still beyond me. I have been dragged into the digital camera age kicking and screaming, and I can only learn one new thing a day (at most).

*The blurb on the back didn't hurt either: "The storm had now definitely abated, and what thunder there was now grumbled over more distant hills, like a man saying 'and another thing' twenty minutes after admitting he's lost the argument."

**"p" as short for "pence." I refuse to go back to "cents" because "p" is so much shorter and sounds cooler. That's just my 2p.