Posted by: billpurdue | June 27, 2011

Why we will always need books

I was very interested to read the full page article in “I” (Friday June 24th) by Johann Hari. In it he explains why he believes books will never be replaced and why we need books in this digital age. He is not against the internet and is an ardent Twitter fan, but he says, “the mental space it [the book] occupied is being eroded by Weapons of Mass Distraction that surround us all”. These weapons are of course all the components of the modern technological age. If you can’t get a copy of “I”, then log on to Johann Hari’s blog to read the same article.

Hari draws attention to a book by David L Ulin (book critic at the Los Angeles Times)  called The Lost Art of Reading [Sasquatch Books £8 978-1570616709] which “addresses the importance of the simple act of reading in an increasingly digital culture”. I thought this title might be worth investigating, but neither Nottinghamshire nor Derbyshire Libraries have a copy, so if you would like to see it, it would be a case of buying online.


Fruit picking time

To more mundane matters now and it’s at this time of  year when we gardeners start to harvest all the fruit and veg we’ve been carefully nurturing in the kitchen garden or the allotment. At the moment, for me, it’s gooseberries and raspberries. Many people like to stash it away in the freezer for later in the year or make jam, but it’s good to find different ways of using up all the bounty from the garden.

John and Val Harrison have compiled a couple of books to help you deal with garden produce. How to Store your home grown Produce [Right Way  £6.99 978-0716022466] is possibly one of the few books devoted just to storing fruit and veg, though many gardening books offer advice on the matter as part of their coverage. The same authors have also produced Easy Jams, Chutneys and Preserves [ Right Way £6.99 978-0716022251 ] about which one Amazon reviewer wrote  “I’ve never made jams, chutneys ect before but can’t stop now”. The book is obviously very inspirational.

Allotments by Jane Eastoe [National Trust £7.99 9781905400768] is a handy little book to have around. As well as basic advice about allotments, it gives information about almost every crop typically grown on allotments plus a few hints and tips on cooking and storage plus a smattering of recipes.

I was given a copy of The Allotment Gardeners’s Cookbook [Kerswell Books £12.99 9781906239152] by Ann Nicol for Christmas last year.  This book is especially handy if you need a recipe for a specific vegetable or fruit. In the two sections, Fruit and vegetables, recipes are arranged in alphabetical order of fruit or veg. An unusual feature is that for most recipes there are two lists of ingredients, one which serves two people and the other which serves four.

Finally for those fortunate enough to own a polytunnel, there is now The Polytunnel Book: Fruit and Vegetables All Year Round  by Joyce Russell [Frances Lincoln £16.99 978-0711231702]. I don’t have a polytunnel and perhaps that wasn’t a bad thing as some polytunnels suffered damage during last winter’s heavy snow. Replacing the polythene covering is quite expensive I understand.

New Blockbuster

I haven’t forgotten fiction fans: did you know that the new novel by Lynda La Plante Blood Line [Simon and Schuster £18.99 978-0857201805] was out last week? DCI Anna Travis is in charge of an investigation for the first time; she is looking for a man who has disappeared without trace. Another top seller I expect.


The previous Anna Travis title was Blind Fury which is now out in paperback.

This post is slightly late – apologies, but I have been having a few computer problems



  1. Nice work again…

    I am typically just an observer when it comes to blogs, but this really made me wish to leave a comment. Great work!…

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