Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The man

The man is going to have to get his own blog. Really. You see, he's now telling me what I should post about, coming up with ideas so to speak, and then today, he and elPadawan have gotten chatting. It's pretty cool, and a charming end to (another) irritating day.

Shall we just say that I spent 8 hours today waiting and in transit for about 10 minutes visit time with two seperate doctors, all mostly useless.

Ho hum.

ANYWAY,

The man REALLY wants me to talk about this, and I kind of agree it shows potential.

Now, when you go to the library, assuming the lovely library ladies (and gentlemen) have been doing their work properly, when you look at the spines of the books, the titles are all either right way up, or all facing the same direction, so that as you read your head veers from being in it's normal upright position to a tip to the right to make it easier to read.

All very sensible (and honestly not something I ever consciously noticed before, but he's that kind of guy)

Now here is where things get cultural and quirky...apparently (I still haven't noticed this at all, but I am taking his word for it) apparently, the titles in Catalan are every which way, so as you scan the book spines sometimes your head is upright, sometimes it is tilted left and sometimes right...if you are really speed-reading I assume there would be some danger of library induced whip-lash (a whole new class of nerdy injuries opening up...hey maybe even a class action suit against the Catalan publishing industry...then again that and a Euro fifty will get you a cup of coffee)

Maybe the Catalans just are worried about their readers getting stiff necks from always tilting their heads in the same direction and it is a subtle management technique to keep the necks of Catalan readers smooth and supple...who knew?

12 comments:

oreneta said...

AND now he's grabbing the first comment as well...he thinks the spinal chaos occurs with French books too...anyone out there know?

Beth said...

No clue about the books in France but the fact the titles always appear right to left, etc. in Canada is something I've always just taken for granted - and it makes SENSE.
But I guess Catalans take their "every which way" for granted too and think that makes sense. How or why, I'm not sure.

Quirky, fascinating bit of info.

Beth said...

what is it with our husbands Rocky? Mine does the same thing!! I tell him to get his own blog, cuz as a cop, the man has LOTS of stories!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Where do you get to wander the stacks of libraries these days?
If you were talking private home libraries, I'd know the answer for this phenomenon.
In the former USSR everyone DELIBERATELY turned their books everywhichway and usually upside down as well, just to make it HARDER for anyone to see what their literary interests were.
In the long run, it didn't do much, as all the "unwelcome guests" had long learned to read things upside down or whatever without even moving their eyeballs, let alone turning their heads!!!
If people will talk about it at all, they just sort of grin and reply that it must have been sheer coincidence or just accidental!
My eye!
And I noticed because I was always very curious to know what they were reading.
Couldn't find out as I hadn't mastered the art of reading book spines that way! GM

Boo and Trev said...

As a librarian, that's very interesting, but I bet the class mark is always in the same place and that's all we're interested in!
Himself could contribute to the family blog - he is family after all!

kate said...

In our personal library, all the English language book spines are read top to bottom, and the Spanish ones bottom to top.

oreneta said...

Beth, I agree, those quirky little differences are fun...

Beth, if he ever starts a blog up, you have GOT to tell us...he must have a TON of stories...

GM, now there is another quirky, though alarming book spine fact...we actually have a nice little public library here, which I don't frequent all that often, but which the man does...

Boo, the class mark would be that code, SET 451,67 D kinda thing? If it is, then yes, it is....

Kate, well that is fascinating, maybe it is just the Catalans that are all over the map...hmmmmmm, I'll have to do more research.

Helen said...

It depends a bit on nationality even for English lang books. Most UK publishers make you read top to bottom with your head to the right, but some other English lang books from abroad are with your head to the left which is really really annoying. This is of course the other family librarian here

elPadawan said...

yes, with french books too. Just double-checked right now, I have evidence on my bookshelves :p.

It's nice chatting with the Man, be sure to post the URL once he's readable somewhere ;).

One workaround for your book-orienting issue is to use the what we call in France "arab" stacking, where all books would be stacked horizontally instead of vertically. It has the obvious drawbacks one would immediately think of, but has its advantages as well ;)

elPadawan said...

Oh, and I'm used to "side oriented" reading, so whether it's upside down, one way or the other, I tend to not need to turn my head to read what's in there ;)

oreneta said...

Helen, I thought both you and Boo would weigh in on this....I have to confess to not being annoyed by the head wobble effect, though I do find it kind of nice that there is yet another area of our life that has not been too highly organised.

elPadawan, I've got to try and get him on line, I htink it maybe would be a neat blog...then again, we only have the one computer.....and you...side oriented reading, I bet you read people's papers on their desks as well when you are across from them talking (I will confess I do the same, though at this point I can only do it in English) Can you read in any direction in English and French? How about Czeck?

elPadawan said...

years of commuting in Paris, to read the tabloids without the guilt of buying them is perhaps the best training :). I can read in any direction in both English, French, and Czech. Though in Czech, I will read ok, but probably won't understand :D. It's almost the same alphabet, nothing new there ;)