I discovered three "old" things which made me think that maybe I should have a careful look at my book and CD collections rather than ordering the latest thing from Amazon.
A few weeks ago I came across a very old CD, "The Year of the Cat" by Al Stewart. I bought it in the 1980s I think. I had a vague idea that he is/was(?) a one hit wonder ("The Year of the Cat" single), but I listened to the whole album, and it is all good. (There were none of the, er, crappy lyrics which pass for songs these days.)
And in the same week, not knowing what to order from Amazon to read, I picked up my old copy of "The Collected Dorothy Parker". The stories seem a bit dated now, but I read with glee her book reviews, which are mostly scathing sideways attacks on poorly written books and bad authors. And it did not matter that I had not heard of the books she mentioned, I just enjoyed her put-downs.
And finally, I re-read a book I'd read about eight years ago, "Yellow Blue Tibia", by Adam Roberts. I remember enjoying it when I first read it, and could very vaguely remember the story. But when I started I was hooked again, within a few pages. It is not just a great and strange novel, but it is also full of laugh out loud passages. For example, two Russians are talking:
"I suffer from a syndrome..."
"Syndrome, syndrome, syndrome. Do you know the English name for your syndrome? 'Fuckwittery'."
"Really? I have come across American studies of my syndrome and have never yet heard it so described. Is Fuckwitter the name perhaps of the doctor who..."
Next time I get the urge to "just browse" on Amazon, maybe I should just browse through the stuff I already own...