Friday, March 04, 2005

The bed notebook

Yesterday I revealed to a shocked world that I had withdrawn Paul Auster's Oracle Night from the new and completely wonderful Jubilee Library. When I got home, the first thing I did was to put a bookmark against page one. For this purpose, and for at least the last twelve years, I've used rail tickets with a triangular snip in the side. I have a couple of hundred, many already ensconced within books I've yet to complete. They range in date from 1993 to this year, although they're becoming increasingly difficult to keep as electronic gates eat up most of them.

I didn't start reading the book until returning from a meal with workmates at a restaurant celebrating the end of a project on, of all things, passports. In the pre-meal drinks session, I regaled them all with a tale of being sent to London in company time to get my first passport in order to fly to Holland the next day and meet a client. This was nine years ago. They couldn’t believe it.

Anyway, so when I got back and into bed, I read the first 10 pages of Oracle Night and thoroughally enjoyed it, even if I did cough and splutter at the profusion of bare-faced clichés: back in the swing of things and to all intents and purposes on the first half page alone.

Then the bookmark caught my eye.

And yes, it was ticket from the trip to London to get my passport all those years ago.

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