This afternoon I read Neil MacGregor's Shakespeare's Restless World taken from his Radio 4 Series and based on objects surviving from the Poet's time. It is a richly detailed account of the way people lived and thought as for example how they feared witches and assassination plots much as we fear terrorists today. But this afternoon's experience as I hold the book in my hand is that it is a solid beautiful object, made of sheets of paper cut and bound together, encased in board and with a wrap-round cover. I love its smell. And much as I appreciate the convenience of my Kindle, it strikes me that nothing, but nothing can replace the solid feel of this book. The texture of the paper, the quality of the print, and the illustrations which fall in just the right place so not to dominate the text as they might in a coffee table book but support it and come into view just at the right time. Long may there be books, real books.
Some people swim, some jog. My exercise is gardening. There is something to show for the expense of energy as there is the other day when I shift barrow loads of compost to the beds which I have dug ready for sowing. Thanks to the rain I am behind with the vegetable plot and not as fit as I will be when all the beds are dug and the compost spread. Now to think about seeds.