24 Festive Tasks: Door 4 - Guy Fawkes Night

**EDIT** Updated with Tasks 1 & 2.


One of my favourite nights of the year, not because of the fireworks or the background to the holiday, but simply because I always catch up with friends for dinner and drinks before and after the fireworks display. Fyi, our fireworks are put on by the city council, and so far there have only been a couple of times that the event itself was .... great.

One of the great ones was last year when the council finally managed to coordinate the display - somewhat - with the music, which even made up for them getting the countdown wrong yet again.


This year, they messed up the countdown again (it's pretty much an annual thing now) and the fireworks themselves were not impressive at all - there seemed no rhyme or reason to them, no coordination at all. By the end, everyone was staring at the sky and turning to other people asking "Was that it?!". 


But...mocking the council fireworks is part of the annual fun. At least, my friends and I only had a short way to walk home to mine so we could warm up over food and wine.


Anyway, .... now to the Festive Tasks:


Door 4:  Guy Fawkes Night


Task 1: Make a list of the top 3 treasonous crimes against books that an author can commit.


In no particular order, and there are definitely more crimes against books out there:


1. Letting installments in a series end on a cliffhanger concerning the main plot. If the book's main story is not concluded within the volume, the book is not finished. Stop passing it off as a finished book! 

This annoys me so much that I have abandoned series in the past because of it. 


2. Plagiarism. Whether it is Ian Fleming or a self-published author, authors who plagiarise are not authors in my book...and should not enjoy the benefits - even if ever so meager - from selling books. They also deserve to be called out and derided. Bring back public tomato-throwing at plagiarists.


3. Which to pick, which to pick? There are so many crimes against books...ans even more crimes against readers. Ok. I'll go with... 

Stuffing you book with info-dumps of all of the precious research an author has done. It kills the book. The research is needed, no doubt. The relevant information should be in the book to guide the reader. No doubt about this, either. However, telling a reader of all of the research detracts from the book ... unless it is a book about doing research on a particular topic. It also sends a message to the reader (well, this reader) that the author is full of him-/herself and may not trust his readers to understand the book.


I could go on.



Task 2: Start a revolution: What one thing would you change about the book reading world? (Be it publishing, distribution, editing, cover art, bookstores – anything having to do with books.)


Re-publish or provide other access to OOP books. The thought about how many excellent books we loose or will never know because they are no longer available saddens me.


Yes, I realise that this not particularly deep or meaningful in the context of all of the other things that are wrong with publishing - from representation of minorities to quality control to Ammy cheapening the industry as a whole and more ... - but this is one thing I would like to see change. 

Publishers like Virago, Persephone, and the British Library are fighting the good fight, but I'd like to see more of that and I would like readers to go and check them out ... instead of jumping on the next bandwagon bestseller that has been hyped up beyond its merit (which is usually the case). Bestseller lists were invented as a sales tool after all.


Task 3: Make a little straw (or wood / cloth / wool / fabric) effigy of the book character you like least.




Task 4:

How do you order the books on your shelves?


First of, I love the Bercow pic that adornes this task. :D


As for how I arrange my shelves, ... Well, apart from some sections that seem to focus on themes such as travel, cooking, mountaineering, theatre/drama etc., there is very little order to my shelves that would make sense to other people. Obviously, my shelves make perfect sense to me. 

I try to keep books by the same author in the same space, but this is a rule that is broken if shelf space can be maximised by separating books to fit elsewhere. 


The only section that is truly "in order" is my Sayers/Wimsey shelf. :)




Book: Read a book set in the UK, a political thriller, a book involving any monarchy or revolution, a book about arson or related to fires and burning, a book whose plot involves costumes / fancy dress, or that has masks on the cover, or that is self-published.


Agatha Christie - Murder in the Mews. I may not write a review for this collection of novellas, but the title story is fabulous. As is the Suchet/Fraser tv adaptation. :D