Last Wednesday evening I attended the launch at the Book Lounge of a marvellous new book on text editing, one of whose three authors used to be a colleague of mine. As usual, I had my camera with me but when I got home and downloaded the pics, I found none of them were of John, his book, the audience, or even the lovely grub.
The first one was the view of Table Mountain from the window. The Book Lounge is in Roeland Street so, looking up, you can clearly see the cable car station at the top from that angle.
Second one: a very cheerful (if rather meaningless) painting of big fat flowers, perched on top of many shelves of books. I guess I just like the colours.
Third pic: part of the wall of the downstairs of the shop, which is entirely covered in the most exquisite and whimsical drawing, mainly in black and white but with a bit of colour here and there, against a pale blue washed background. Downstairs is where the childrens’ books are kept, and also Philosophy, Art, Design, and Crime. (No, not really Crime – just wanted to see if you were paying attention!)
I love the girl with her hair and feet in the air watering the plant on the building next door. I couldn’t find the artist’s signature but I’m sure it’s there somewhere.
And just in case you are thinking that clearly I don’t care so much about the books themselves, I would add that I think John’s book should be a prescribed text for anyone who writes (reports, business stuff, academic theses, etc) and anyone required to edit that writing, particularly in a country where the majority of people have English as a second, third or even fourth language. (In South Africa, we have ELEVEN official languages, by the way.) My own comment in discussion time, incidentally, was that some of the most poorly written texts I have ever come across have been written by people who have English as a first language!
To be continued…