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Quotations - 15th Dec 2017

"Secondhand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack"

Virginia Woolff

Lovely, isn't it? Why not give a gift of lasting pleasure this Christmas - a book of quotations. You can't go wrong.

Rugby experts - 14th Dec 2017

Rugby experts Have you ever sat in the pub watching a rugby game watching a rugby game and been afraid to say anything in case you looked a bit of a fool? Would you like to sound as if you know what you're talking about without spending the next few years laboriously studying every game instead of just enjoying it? Would you like to sound well informed when drop-kicks, fly-hacks and punts are being discussed? Are you bemused by the difference between reverse passes, scissors, loops and spin passes? Then you need a copy of this book because it will allow you to sound erudite without doing more than enjoyably perusing this little volume:

Bluff Your Way in Rugby
by Alexander C Rae

You could browse in our sports section while you're here picking up a copy of the aforementioned!

Puzzles and brainteasers - 13th Dec 2017

Arrange six matches so that each match touches all the others.

A man went to a river to get 4 litres of water. He had only two containers, one 5-litre tin and one 3-litre tin. Neither of the tins was marked for smaller measures. How did he get exactly 4 litres?

A and B ran 100 metres. A won by 10 metres. B then raced 100 metres against C, and B won by 10 metres. If A and C race 100 metres, by how many metres would A win??

Whether it's sudoku, word play, crosswords, riddles, brain teasers, mathematical puzzles, geometrical tricks, logic tests, or any other variation on mental recreations or diversions, you need a book or two for the holidays. Avoid turning into a complete beach blob by giving your brain a little exercise. You can also torture friends and family with them once you know the answers. Come in and get a book or two for fun.


Holiday time for many - 12th Dec 2017

With summer holidays approaching for many, it is time to plan an outdoor project to keep you from getting bored with all that free time (who is that lucky?).

Have a look out into your garden and see if it would benefit from some paths or steps. Maybe a revamped patio or courtyard would bring a bit of new life. Some new outdoor furniture is always a winner at this time of year. Well placed fences and screens can entirely transform an area. You could make a bit of a feature out of pergolas or shelters. These days you probably need some decking and stairs to put your bbq on (along with that nice new outdoor furniture you've just built for yourself). And don't forget the pond or pool for the perfect finishing touch.

Whatever you are thinking of doing, a copy of Better Homes and Gardens The Complete Backyard Book will tell you exactly how to do it with easy step-by-step instructions. Come in and get yourself a copy (or better still buy it as a present for your wife/husband/partner and give them a few ideas). Make sure you pick up a book on the perfect bbq while you're here!

Agricultural theme continued - 8th Dec 2017

Carrying on from yesterday's agriculture and farming, we now move on to fruit growing. If you are planning your own orchard, planting a few olive groves or just want a bit of advice on pruning fruit trees, the best place to start is with a book (which is where we can help).

Where we can't help is with any reasonable explanation of why retailers are selling individual pieces of fruit with a shiny indestructible plastic label on every single item. Possibly they think the sales staff are too stupid to be able to spot the difference between a banana and a kiwifruit. If so, that is clearly very insulting to the staff and they should rise up! 

It is highly unlikely that that is why they're doing it. Therefore, I think you should all join me in my campaign to peel off every single offending label and return it to the shop. They have the power to refuse to buy from any supplier who unnecessarily defaces the fruit with indestructible and environmentally polluting bits of sticky plastic. They could stop this stupid habit almost immediately.  

Farming - 7th Dec 2017

Bit of a change from festive-season greetings. Today we are moving on to farming and agriculture because there is a new section in the shop devoted to that topic.

It has to be said that it is a modest section at the moment; nay, a very small section to be more precise. But for years people have been asking for books on agricultural botany or deer farming and we never knew where to send them to look as we weren't sure where the books might have been shelved; rather random as to whether they'd be found in gardening, natural history, biology or general science!

So with a modest beginning and as a work in progress, we start our farming and agriculture shelves with a selection of books on New Zealand cattle breeds, livestock behaviour, keeping poultry, farm management, pests & diseases, soil management, the history of tractors and farm machinery, and of course the above-mentioned deer farming and agricultural botany. Come on in and have a look.

Merry Christmas - 6th Dec 2017

Merry Christmas Spotted in the Otago Daily Times this morning was Warwick Jordan, owner of Hard to Find Bookshop (page 4 just in case you missed it). He was pictured in front of the "holiday" tree in the Octagon. Sadly, his offer to pay for the "Happy Holidays" sign to be replaced with a "Happy Christmas" banner did not meet with success. 

So just to cheer him up and make sure the message gets out there (without offending anyone or being exclusive): Joyeux Noelle; Hyvää joulua; Frohe Weihnachten; Vesela Koleda; Glaedelig Jul; Kala Christouyenna; Boldog Karacsonyl; Selamat Natal; Buon Natale; Meri Kuri; Feliz Navidad. We could go on!

Christmas Trees - 5th Dec 2017

Christmas Trees The Christmas season is nearly upon us. It probably already is upon us for some. All those here in Dunedin have no doubt been following the lively discussion about the Christmas tree in the Otago Daily Times. I should more accurately say argument really. It has been very much in the news both in Paul Gorman's What's With That and in letters to the Editor.

For those not reading the ODT, the problem is the message around the tree which reads "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas". The owner of Hard to Find Books agrees it should mention Christmas. It is, after all, a Christmas Tree and not a holiday tree. He rightly says that Diwali and Matariki (and others) are referred to by their correct names. There is no suggestion they cause offence or that they should be changed. Likewise Christmas.

He believes it so strongly that he has offered to pay to have the sign changed. Watch this space (and the tree in the Octagon) to see if he is successful or not.

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