Good Reading : May 2005
12 goodreading book trivia PERSONAL ALBUM HERE’S A CLUE: He likes to ‘backchat’. Recognise this Australian author and broadcaster? Tim Bowden became a household name through his long-running ABC-TV series ‘Backchat’. His many books include Changi Photographer, One Crowded Hour, The Way My Father Tells It, Silence Calling, and his auto- biography Spooling Through. Tim’s most recent book is The Devil in Tim – in which Tim rediscovers Tasmania, its history and its people with all the usual wry humour and enthusiasm we’ve come to expect from one of Australia’s best loved travel writers and storytellers. ‘My first baby photo, shortly after being plugged into an electric light socket.’ Book plated Award-winning chil- dren’s author Anne Fine says: ‘I remember seeing my very first bookplate down in the murky (and rather frightening) cellar of the house my family moved to when I was eight. Deep in the shadows lay a battered old trunk. My father prised off the lock and lifted the lid. Inside were heaps of musty old books, and, opening the first, I saw pasted inside the front cover a large black and white label. It was an engraving of a massively fancy and impressive family coat of ar ms. Across the top was written “Ex Libris Viscount Molesworth”. Ex libris is Latin for “from the books of ...” (or “out of the library of ...”). And in the days when books were rare and precious, anyone who owned them would want to take particular care that, if they were lent, or bor rowed, or taken away by mistake, there was the best chance of them finding their way home again.’ Anne has created a website where you can download for free a range of fun bookplates designed by children’s book illustrators such as Quentin Blake, Jez Alborough, Michael Foreman, Jane Hissey and Helen Oxenbury. Anne says: ‘A lot of teachers use our book- plates for rewards, mothers stick them in their baby’s first picture books, and babysitters tell us that some of the black and white ones are perfect for colouring in before bedtime, or they’re bril- liant for blotting out the last person’s name.’Visit www.myhomelibrary.org/ wherefrom.html QUIET, please Nancy Pearl is a retired librarian, truly passionate about books and somewhat of a celebrity in the USA having instigated the one book, one city program. Now she has her very own action doll. The doll features a button, which activates a librarian-like ‘shushing’ action. She comes with a tiny plastic replica of Nancy’s book Book Lust, a stack of random literature as well as her own check-out card! The real Nancy Pearl believes that no one should ever finish a book you’re not enjoying so she created her Rule of 50. ‘If you are 50 years or younger, give every book about 40 pages before you decide to commit yourself to reading it or giv- ing up. If you are over 50 – which is when time gets shorter – subtract your age from 100. The result is the number of pages you should read before deciding.’ Nancy Pearl will be a guest of the Sydney Writers’ Festival this month.