Sunday, February 03, 2008

Found a great bookshop

SideLines, February 2008

Today I went for a Sunday walk in Kyoto City with my family. We went from one temple or shrine to the next to enjoy the lunar New Year festivities.

On one street corner we found some narrow stairs leading up to a second-hand books shop called Greenebooks.

This shop buys and sells books in any language except Japanese. The very eclectic range was mainly English-language. A New Year sale was in progress (50% price reductions!), and the books were mostly very good. The shop is close to Kyoto University, which has many foreign visitors and students.

I was happy to discover and purchase the following (no relation): J. R. Matthews et al. (1996) Successful scientific writing: A step-by-step guide for the biological and medical sciences. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. 181 pp.

After a quick browse, I can recommend this book highly.

I particularly enjoy a section on 'devil pairs' (pp. 131-134). These are pairs of similar or related words that many writers get confused by, and choose wrongly.

After returning home, we scattered beans to drive out evil spirits from our house ('Setsubun' is an old Japanese custom on the last night of Winter). Maybe we also gave some 'devil pairs' a fright.

For extra effect, we tied a smelly, grilled fish-head to some thorny holly leaves to the frame above our door, outside. The leaves were kindly provided by our local supermarket when we bought fish yesterday.

Who needs biotechnology when we can use magic like this?!

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