Two Sleeps to Go

Philip HarrisChatter, RunningLeave a Comment

Two sleeps to go until my wife and I run the Victoria Marathon. This is will be the second marathon we’ve run and I’m feeling a lot better about this one. I injured my foot while training for the first race and missed about 6 weeks of preparation, including all the longest training runs – the furthest I’d run before the race was about 25km, well short of the 42.2km distance of the race itself. That made the race very tough. The first half of the race was good (2hr 20 ish) but with my lack of training we were going too quick and I started feeling ill about 28km in. I had to take an extensive walk break to avoid throwing up and everything went downhill from then on. My calves felt like rock and it was a struggle to run for more than a few minutes. There was a lot of walking in the last 10km – let’s leave it at that. We finished the course in 5 hours 29 minutes which was at least an hour slower than we’d trained for. I did pick up a lot of free gels though. This time, I made it through all sixteen weeks of … Read More

In Defense of eBook Pricing

Philip HarrisBooks, Meaty MondaysLeave a Comment

This is the latest in a series of Meaty Monday posts – longer posts where I ramble on about writing related topics. You can find the first Meaty Monday post here. Authors are almost legally required to hate ebooks. After all, those cold, soulless packages of bits and bytes can’t compare with the tactile and olfactory delights a real book provides. In a lot of ways that’s true and as my heavily overloaded shelves will attest, I’ve always had great difficultly resisting the lure of the bookshop. In fact, until a couple of years ago ebooks held no interest for me at all but then I bought my wife a Kobo reader for her birthday and then I borrowed it to read William Gibson’s Zero History. I was hooked. Sure, the first generation Kobo reader is slow and doesn’t have wireless or any other bells and whistles but it was so convenient and – for some unknown reason – fun. I quickly bought myself a Kindle and I’ve never looked back. I do still buy physical books, usually Subterranean Press or Cemetery Dance limited editions, or books by my favourite authors (Caitlin R Kiernan, Haruki Murakami etc.) but generally I choose the digital version if I can. The biggest advantage … Read More

Book – The Lake

Philip HarrisBooksLeave a Comment

I’m a sucker for bookshops, I struggle to leave one without buying something – so much so that I now try to avoid even going inside one if I can help it. A few years ago, before I became so disciplined, I was browsing randomly through a London bookshop when I happened upon a table stacked high with all manner of books. They were part of a three-for-two or buy-one-get-one-free or some other offer I couldn’t resist so I started digging through the piles of books, looking for something that might pique my interest. Nestled among the thrillers and crime novels were a handful of strange little books by a Japanese author called Banana Yoshimoto. Apart from the name, the books stood out because they were very simply designed – mostly a solid colour, pink or yellow or maroon, with a single Japanese character on the front. They were also quite expensive for such small books. I’ve got a soft spot for Japanese literature so I took advantage of the offer to pick up a handful of these strange little books, along with a couple by Haruki Murakami that were in the same sale. When I read them, I was … Read More