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5 March 2008

Books and more books

Click on photos to enlarge them.

I bought two new books yesterday. Yes, two. NEW. BOOKS! There was a time when barely a week would go by when I didn't buy a book or a few magazines and newspapers. I quit that behaviour about five years ago when I realised that conserving money helped me conserve resources. Being frugal reduced the amount of greenhouse gases I was responsible for, reduced the amount of money I needed to live and helped me transition from spending $1000 a week to $1400 a month.

So how did I buy these books? It was through the kindness of the readers here. Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while will know I had an Amazon portal on the blog until January. I disabled it when I changed the template and haven't put it back yet. In November and December I received two gift certificates as payment for all the books you purchased.

It usually takes me a while to get around to these things but yesterday I ordered A Very Small Farm and Green Mountain Farm, they should arrive mid-March. Thank you to everyone who purchased books through my Amazon thingie. I am SO looking forward to having new books to read. There is nothing like the smell of a new book. ;- )

While we're on the subject of books, just this
morning, Diana emailed to say she's passing on the Choosing Eden book I sent her earlier in the year. The book originally came to me from Dot at Wool 'n Ewe. She kindly sent it to me to read and asked that I pass it on, which I gladly did here. Now Diana has read the book and, in the true spirit of generosity, is passing it on. Diana has a wonderful blog - Pebbledash - and if you go there before Sunday March 9 and make a comment, you'll go in the draw to win the book. I hope that whoever wins the book will also pass it on when it's read. I wrote my name on the inside cover, I hope Diana does that too, as well as each person who reads it. That book may well be the most travelled book of the decade when we're finished with it. Read on ladies and gentlemen!

A while ago someone asked me to list me favourite books. As I said before, I usually take a while to get to things, not for lack of trying or laziness, but because there is so many other things to write about and do. But now we're on the subject of books so it seems the right time to write more about what I like to read.

My favourite book of all time is Ulysses by James Joyce. I have two copies - one first edition American book, published 1922 and another paperback copy for reading and lending. I must confess that everyone I've lent it to has returned it as unreadable. !! Oh well, I guess it's just you and me, James. A few years ago I went through a period when I read only gardening books, then books on philosophy, then physics. The last books I bought before my self-imposed ban were books on simple living. The one I enjoyed the most of these was Carla Emery's Encyclopedia of Country Living. I also read a couple of John Seymour's books, which I enjoyed very much, but they were from the library. Another library book I liked was the Readers Digest Back to Basics book - Australian version. There is also an American version of that book.

The best Australian gardening book I've read is Lyn Bagnall's Easy Organic Gardening. That book taught me things I didn't know. I've been gardening for many years and I generally just read what I already know, but Lyn's book was a revelation. I use it frequently as a reference book and to read about vegetables just before I plant them. Lyn is an organic farmer and has many year's experience producing organic vegetables, and it shows. I was lucky enough to have Lyn send me a signed copy of her book. :- ) If you're reading this Lyn, thanks again.

So there you have it. It is said you can tell a lot about a person by the books they read. I wonder what my books say about me. I
think it's such a jumbled mix it would be difficult to nail me. But who knows, you might already have my number. ;- )


  1. You are going to love reading "A Very Small Farm." This author lives in Oklahoma (my home state) and his farm was not far from where I lived. I've often wanted to look him up to see if he is still on the farm and enjoying it. The book was very uplifting for me. ENJOY!

  2. Thank you for linking to my blog, Rhonda. Oh, how I love books....for me these are the hardest thing to let go of. Amazon has been my downfall, but I'm getting much better at just saying no! Diana x

  3. Oh, that looks like a very nice stack of books! My husband and I both read "A Very Small Farm" a few weeks ago - excellent and very inpiring book. :)

  4. Me again....Have you read John Lane: Timeless Simplicity, and his other books....just curious! Diana x

  5. Philosophy? My major in college was religion and philosophy. And here I am, like you, aspiring to a simple life.

    Maybe that is the end result of philosophical musings....

  6. I can remember reading James Joyce for my A level English and I agree that it is pretty much unreadable!

    I also used to buy loads of both books and magazines. I added up the cost of a pile of magazines one day and found I'd spent over £300 on magazines which were then thrown away. I even bought the same magazine twice in a month as I hadn't remembered I'd bought it! So wasteful. I am proud to announce I have more or less stopped buying magazines, I buy a Dolls House Magazine once a month and if I have a reason such as a holiday I might buy a couple then. By and large though I don't buy them. As for books, I have an entire library of books on self help, green living, country living, knitting, sewing .... and so on. I frequently find there are no books on a shelf in Waterstones I haven't had. How embarrassing. However like my magazines I have not bought a book for a long time now and when I do I try to buy cheap off Amazon or borrow from the library.

    Enjoy your new books, Rhonda, I haven't read either of those... hmmm... maybe I need a browse on Amazon :)

    Kathryn x

  7. One idea:

    This is not a plug... well it is. Check it out, and you may find it interesting to swap books.

  8. I love Carla Emery's book too. I imagine if I had to choose only one book to keep I would choose that one since there is so much good, practical advice packed inside it.

    Buying books is my downfall and I while I have been greatly utilizing my library in the last year I am still buying more than I should.

  9. Hi Rhonda
    I had to laugh at the book titled ' when i am an old woman I shall wear puple' It made me giggle cos I SO can't wear purple it just clashes with everything about me, i seriously look like a big bruise, its hilarious so when I saw your book my first thought was oh no i won't ha ha.
    What is the book about, I'm intrigued to read it? I love reading.

  10. Jess,

    I would really encourage you with using the local library. They're a great service and depending on where you live have a fabulous collection. The library I find is the cheapest form of entertainment out there.

    I would have to say that my downfall is buying bargain books. Or buying books for my bookclub group. I love collecting memoirs of WW1 and WW2.


  11. I'm so pleased to have my selection of A Very Small Farm affirmed by some of you. I am looking forward to reading it.

    Although I don't buy books now, I am still an avid reader. They're all library books.

    Diana, I haven't read that book.

    Thanks for the link, James.

  12. Just wanted to second Diana's recommendation of "Timeless Simplicity" It is truly excellent and also has very appealing illustrations.
    Bella N

  13. I absolutely love,love,love A very Small Farm. I borrowed it from a friend and when they moved, she gave it to me.

    I came into farming from a conventional agricultural training, even though I quickly became an organic convert. If I had read this book sooner and others like it, perhaps I wouldn't thought of debt as a necessary part of getting a farm up and running, and maybe we would have had to sell it. Although the farm sale wasn't purely a financial need and we've found that living in a neighborhood 2 miles from my husband's job and only 3 miles from most of the places we go, having a small home, and a 1 acre lot can still be quite sustainable and simple.

  14. Sorry, that should be "then we wouldn't have had to sell it."

  15. I want to say, first of all, I love your blog, and I have been coming here for the last few months. I do aspire to live the simple life but I have a problem with the rest of my family getting on the same page...someday. :o) I love gardening books and devour them especially now in the winter, while I am impatiently waiting on spring.

  16. i love your blog. what state or area are you living at. i saw that you can grow mango, pineapple, etc. you are very inspirational. i would love to do the garden, but i have this worm phobia that i just can't seem to get rid of, caterpillars in particular, any kind of caterpillars. anyway, i love your garden and your simple life. thank you so much.


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