search for something...

search for something you might like...

300 Words From London: There's More To Life Than Books You Know Do rodents love Martin Amis? They love him more than Lake does that's for sure.

300 Words From London: There's More To Life Than Books You Know

Do rodents love Martin Amis? They love him more than Lake does that's for sure.

by Lake, Editor, London
first published: April, 2007
I had a box of proof copies of Martin Amis's Heavy Water that I gave to my daughter's hamster

It's Christmas 2001.  I am struggling in my front room with a cut-off too big Christmas tree that I am trying to get balanced into a too small earthenware flowerpot. I have a small bag of sand and two half bricks and no matter which way I wedge them or where I put the sand the tree keeps toppling over. In exasperation I look over at something cheery and festive that's playing on the TV to remind me just why I am doing this and how much fun it will be sweeping up needles right through springtime when I see the solution right there on the shelf. Books.

 

I grab a dozen or so paperback books and then I wedge them all around the tree and the pot and the bricks and the sand. And they bend and twist into shape and as if by magic the tree is standing tall and proud and pretty much straight.

 

And I have lots more space on the shelves.

 

I identify this moment as being the one where I finally fell out of love with books. I have spent all of my adult life surrounded by them. Buying them, selling them, artfully defacing them. Hell I even wrote one once. But aside from the time I had a box of proof copies of Martin Amis's Heavy Water that I gave to my daughter's hamster to chew through one by one I can't remember any of them ever having been put to such good use.

 

I have just cleared two shelves of books from my front room. That's equal to about half of the books I own. I didn't take them to the charity shop because my local charity shop doesn't "do" books. I didn't take them to the second-hand store because that's where most of them came from and it didn't seem right to send them back. In any case, there is no money in second-hand books these days. I just threw them away. And it felt so good.

 

Lake
Editor, London

Kirk Lake is a writer, musician and filmmaker. His published books include Mickey The Mimic (2015) and The Last Night of the Leamington Licker (2018). His films include the feature films Piercing Brightness (2014) and The World We Knew (2020) and a number of award winning shorts.


about Lake »»

I had a box of proof copies of Martin Amis's Heavy Water that I gave to my daughter's hamster

OUTSIDELEFT week in music

view on youtube

RECENT STORIES

RANDOM READS

All About and Contributors

HELP OUTSIDELEFT

Outsideleft exists on a precarious no budget budget. We are interested in hearing from deep and deeper pocket types willing to underwrite our cultural vulture activity. We're not so interested in plastering your product all over our stories, but something more subtle and dignified for all parties concerned. Contact us and let's talk. [HELP OUTSIDELEFT]

WRITE FOR OUTSIDELEFT

If Outsideleft had arms they would always be wide open and welcoming to new writers and new ideas. If you've got something to say, something a small dank corner of the world needs to know about, a poem to publish, a book review, a short story, if you love music or the arts or anything else, write something about it and send it along. Of course we don't have anything as conformist as a budget here. But we'd love to see what you can do. Write for Outsideleft, do. [SUBMISSIONS FORM HERE]

outsideleft content is not for everyone