I spent over an hour browsing in a commercial bookshop today. What a joy it was. I had the original and intelligent idea of writing down the books I liked the look of and then reading them in the National ‘Nash’ Library. Problemo was that it takes them a while to get new books, as far as I can tell anyway, so I couldn’t actually get the books I wanted read.
One of the processes I go through in a bookshop is a transgressive act most commonly known as ‘judging a book by its cover’, there’s some good graphic design out there, and it really does matter to me, so much so that last night, Sibyl reported to me that I said—in my sleep—‘You see! That’s the perfect example of a font that just doesn’t work.’ I don’t remember the dream but I can almost guarantee I was talking about Comic Sans. The only font that has become such a cliché that by now even hating it has become a cliché! However I was envisioning a future the other day, when a Wes Anderson-like artist will emerge and use Comic Sans in his work, and make a womderful post-modern-hipster visual statement. We aren’t quite at that stage yet though… soon.
One thing that struck me about the bookshop was its emphasis on secular humanist writers such as Christopher Hitchens, Phillip Pullman and Terry Pratchet. I have heard from Christians and non-Christians alike that these men are good writers, but I’m currently battling with an inner intolerance I possess of prejudicially leaving these authors out in my reading scheme, purely because of their atheistical notoriety. I have read one Terry Pratchet book, Truckers but that was before I knew he was well into euthanasia. It doesn’t affect me when it comes to music, I have been known to listen to Gary Glitter for example, and I famously spoke to the nation on the 6 o’clock news about the importance of recognising Michael Jackson’s musical talent ahead of his alleged child-molestation (it was when I worked in Virgin Megastores, I still stand by the fact I single handedly saved MJ’s career towards the last couple years of his life). Anyway, the lesson is, engage with people who have different views to you as being un-blinkered leads to less foolishness and a greater ability to discuss. The other thing is that artistic ability is by no means road-blocked by immorality (or as I say in my Conrad video – ‘talent is no racist’). I like the film/play Amadeus for showing that- Mozart is a twit but he makes beautiful music.