I Too Can Read

Hi, peeps. You know how my English has been on a steady decline, ever since my discovery of Twitter and my incessant obsession to fit everything in 140 characters? Worry no longer, as I’m doing something about it by going back to my original love, reading.

(I wish I could describe the feeling I had, when I got my very own library card. I literally shook.)

Yesterday, my friend Mikko, sent me a message asking, if I would be interested in a book sale at a certain book store in Helsinki. (We had visited it before and I had thought about blogging about it but since I didn’t buy any books then, I felt a bit stupid about doing a post. So I didn’t.)  At first I was like, meh, but then I thought I might find some nice books to flip, so we set a date for today. Our reasoning was that today was the first day of the sale and thus, we’d be more likely to find good books before everything would be picked over.

We so smart.

arkadia book store, helsinki

Arkadia Book Shop is located on Nervanderinkatu 11, not too far from the Parliament and the Kamppi shopping centre (and Temppeliaukio Church). It’s very charming. Seems a bit small but there’s one hell of a basement down there. They even have their own chapel! Muy fascinating. Alas, I don’t have any pics of the basement but there are series of rooms, ending in that chapel, and they actually host events in there. Today they had a croquis lesson with a real nude model! And yes, I did glance at the penis. Twice. Thrice. Okay, I couldn’t stop oggling.

Sorry about that.

Interestingly, Finnish police gave their first fines, tickets (?), for sexual harassing and I’m wondering, if my behaviour today would warrant one.

Did I just confess?

Anyway, I bought fifteen books about various subjects. I feel so smart just by owning those books. Do I even need to read them? Wouldn’t it be enough just to sniff that wonderful paperiness?

Anyway, here are my finds…

Game of Thrones, Catherine de Medici, Arkadia book store

I have a very good reason to show these three together. I see a lot in common with Cersei (totally hating that bitch) and Catherine de Medici. And of course, since it IS International Women’s Day, I had to buy one book about a power woman. Another reason for getting that book was that Catherine de Medici was a peer of Michel Montaigne, who I discovered on my last trip to Paris, and she sought his advice during Troubles.

Look at me! Showing my intellectualism already!

Andrew Miller Pure, Patronage Maria Edgewood, Jane Austen, Arkadia book shop

Okay, these two I bought because of the covers. The one on the left is a story about Paris, and I just couldn’t resist the cover design. The one on the right sold itself with the line “Jane Austen’s bestselling rival”. I’m excited to read these two. Probably on the toilet. The classy lady that I am.

The economics of Art and Culture, Arkadia Book Shop

Then some non-fiction. I don’t know, how many of my international readers know about Finnish politics, but our government is looking into cutting education funds. (Culture funds being gone already years ago. Because only fucking tech start-ups bring money. And boiling pulp. Ironic, I know, considering this post is about books.) Anyhoo, I bought this one in the hopes of developing my argument skills, when I defend, well, art and culture. Funny how the government is dead set against funding art and art schools, but none of them walks around naked. After all, it was art school graduates, who designed that shit.

The Victorians by Wilson, Late Victorian Britain, Arkadia Book Shop

The book on the left caught my eye on my last visit to Arkadia but as you can see, I didn’t get it until now. When I was in Paris last time, I read a book about modern (Western) world history and economics on the 19th century (can’t remember the name, would have to ask my friend about it and I don’t want to bother her at this hour), and this book is, in my mind, connected to it. Then the book on the right was recommended to my by a French (?) lady hanging out at the book store with her friend, after she spotted me carrying the other book. I decided to risk it, since it was only 1 euro.

The Rose's Kiss by Peter Bernhardt, Arkadia Book Shop

This book was a total sidetrack…The Victorian’s made think of English gardens, and since my friend snagged a bitchin’ (totally my favourite word lately) book about poisonous plants, I had to get something botanic myself. I’m hoping this will open up the symbolism of flowers in art for me.

Hey, there are quite a few years from my art history lessons. I need some refreshing.

Sex Bombs and Burgers by Nowak, Poorly Made in China, Arkadia Bookshop

These books mean business. Again, I bought them to improve my arguments and bring more insights. These two are also connected to the next three books that I bought about the world powers, China, USA, and Russia:

The Kremlin Conspiracy, The Untold History of United States, The China and The West in the 21st Century, Arkadia Book Shop

Very doom and gloom the covers, don’t you think? As you know, Finland is right next to Russia and it’s not too happy about USA’s military practices in Finland. Of which I’m not too happy either. Last week I attended a citizen’s info meeting at the Parliament about Finland’s security politics. There were a discussion about joining Nato and barring 1-2 people, most of us were dead set against that idea.

My blood is boiling with just these covers. Might take some time for me to be able to finish them. I get so invested in them. I once tried to read Chomsky but couldn’t get past the third page as I got so angry.

Injustices. Injustices everywhere.

Wow. This took a dark turn. But I DO have a happier end-story…

As I carried my pile of books to the cash register (operated by the owner, wonderfully British Ian, who sounds so sarcastic no matter what he says. He, btw, says buy books, not drugs. Wine is debatable),  I spotted one book leaning on his computer. I asked, if could have it for the paperback sale price of 1 euro and delightfully, he said yes. And the book is this one:

The concise Oxford Dictionary of Quotation by Oxford Press, Arkadia Book Shop

My reason for buying the book, is to drive everyone insane on FB and Twitter by sharing quotes from this and then acting all superior about it. It will be hours of fun for me. Good times!

If you are interested, the Arkadia sale has paperbacks for 1 euro and hardcovers for 50% off. The sale will last till Saturday 19th of March. Plenty of time to replenish you bookshelf with something new to read. Oh, and again, this is not a paid text, I just really like books.

-Thrifty Finn-




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