New Books, Dog-ears, and Miranda July

Posted: April 11, 2007 in All and Sundry, Musings, Random Observations


Nino gave me a book yesterday and I’m currently reading it. He bought it at National Bookstore after I convinced him that he should buy Borges’s Ficciones for his own sake. “It’s the last copy in the shelf. It’s worth it,” I told him. Then he bought along with Borges, Jeannette Winterson’s first novel Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (which incidentally won the Whitebread Award for First Fiction), for me as a belated birthday present. Of course, it’s just one of the many birthday presents he gave me.

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is the third book I own by Jeannette Winterson. Later this day, I discovered that it was turned into a TV-movie directed by Beeban Kidron in 1990.

I felt more than ecstatic. It has been such a long time since I got a new book from National Bookstore. Almost all the “new” books I bought in the past four years were from second-hand bookshops here. The smell of a new book makes me heady. I love to riffle over the crisp pages, flipping them fast like cards and listening to how they kinda rustle like leaves.Then run my hand on the glossy cover over and over and marvel at how its edges are still straight, still without creases.

You know what’s my most interesting book habit, which I believe people would find despicable?

When I look at my new book I usually can’t wait to dog- ear my favorite pages. Dog- eared pages serve as markers for the best lines, the best sentences, the most concrete descriptions, the most cinematic scenes, and even the most arguable opinions.

I know it’s embarrassing. But bookmarks aren’t my kind of thing. I always lose them in the process of reading, so I make dog ears instead. The interesting thing is that I never do this to the books I borrow from friends. Only to my books. They’re the only ones that deserve such act of violation.

The other day, after finally submitting some documents for a residency I decided to put my chances on, I celebrated my industry by ordering a new book online using my credit card. It was a hasty decision, I know. And a very bad one of which the consequence I will suffer in the near future. But it is the kind of book I have been wanting to have. The kind that will never reach the bookstores here. The kind that will give me hope above all things. The kind of hope that will keep be going even when I always realize that “life passes you by so quickly. And to live for your passions is sometimes foolhardy.”

I ordered Miranda July’s book of stories No One Belongs Here More than You. It will be coming to me later this year but I don’t care for the wait. The book has a quirky art website cum marketing tool with the same title ( The kind of art website I dream to create in the future. Watch out. šŸ™‚ More than anything else, I can’t wait to share this book to my sisters and friends. Johnnypanic is on top of the list mainly because he is the only avid MJ fan I know who can understand why I do “heart” MJ even though I don’t constantly gush about her.

I am currently searching for a copy of her short film.

related entry: wishing

  1. ted says:

    O, ayan Jincler, nag-sign-up na ako sa wordpress ( at flickr ( Blogger na rin ako!

  2. aprilfoolnyc says:

    This is a good post. Thanks for introducing me to Miranda July; Iā€™m not familiar with her. I just checked and I have to get one of her books. I have a feeling she is a younger version of Nora Ephron. BTW, the concept of the website is so artistically original.

    Regarding dog-ears and bookmarks, I have this system of using different colors of yarn threads as bookmarks (color-coding) ā€“ yellow for the best quotations, red for the sexy scenes, etc. (Iā€™m anal like that. LOL)

  3. mebuyan says:

    to ted: i’m happy to link you. and thanks for letting me convince you to make a blog.

    to aprilfoolnyc: omg. at least i’m not alone. i guess we’re all anal when it comes to books. the booklovers i mean.

    and yes, miranda july is definitely like a younger nora ephron minus that ephron humor. only ephron can be that funny. have you seen her interviews? she’s so witty. i love nora ephron movies. šŸ™‚

  4. Hello, Claire!
    How are you!
    You know, I also have that (bad???) habit about books. It’s weird but you can actually tell how much I love a book by how much I “dog-ear” its pages—hehehe!

  5. agnesdv says:

    hello claire, i noticed you change your blog design many times, this one is the best so far.

    book habits: i’m worse i think cos i write on the books too, with red pens and blue pens and black pens, with lots of scribbles and symbols only i know the meaning, and mark them with dog ears and jumbo elephant ears.. good books have to be read and reread until their pages fall apart.

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