I didn’t mean to but I went on a sort of book binge today. I happened to be in a WHS today and browsing through it noticed they had a clearance on some books. I picked up an Ursula K Le Guin collection of short stories for two pounds; The Birthday of the World and Other Stories. Hopefully it will be more interesting than the previous collection of hers I picked up where I couldn’t get into any of the stories. I also picked up a novel set in ancient Rome for a pound and two Ben Elton novels for a pound each – they were sold together. Four books for a fiver. Not bad.

Then, minutes later, in Waterstone’s, I pick up another three for two. Right in front of me as I walk into the store was a signed edition of Transition by Iain Banks. No M in the name but it deals with parallel worlds and the time between the fall of the Berlin wall and the fall of the Twin Towers. I remember it had some mixed reviews when it came out last year but it sounded interesting enough for me to pick it up and give it a try.

Although, as it’s a signed copy, perhaps I should keep it pristine (?). More than likely it was a batch lot signed by Iain Banks for Waterstone’s, or for the publishers to distribute to booksellers. But, seeing as he lives a stone’s throw from Kirkcaldy (or, as he has been quoted as saying – with Kirkcaldy being in the constituency of Smiler Brown – a ‘mortar lob away’:) ) there is a also every chance the shop got copies signed by him direct.

The three for two was rounded off with another collection of short stories (supposed to be as rare as hen’s teeth nowadays as short stories ‘don’t sell’ but I’ve picked up a few main stream collections recently) and the 5oth anniversary edition of To Kill A Mockingbird, which was the one I got ‘free’.

Also I have a copy of The Worlds of Philip Jose Farmer to be winging its way across the Atlantic any day now. This is a collection mostly about Philip Jose Farmer and is a limited edition. I’ve been told my copy is number 128 and it’s being signed by the authors attending FarmerCon V.

It seems like I spent most of my time online updating laptops, which for some reason seems to take at least half an hour per update. There is the downloading of the updates then the installing of the updates and then the obligatory reboot; nine times out of ten after install of updates I was informed there were further updates available. And round it went.