November 8th, 2002

UK 'tops literary spending league'


60% bought a book. Sixty percent! Forty percent didn't buy a book? What on earth do they buy their relatives for birthdays and Christmas?

An average of £118 spent on DVDs, videos and books taken together.

About 21% said they bought 10 books a year.

Where does this leave those of us who probably average more like 10 books a month? (Well, it leaves us needing more bookshelves, naturally.)

This morning's weather; everything I dislike most about the English autumn and winter. It was dumping down about a standard DMU's worth of rain this morning; "Damp and Miserable Unit", the amount of rain it takes to make me feel like that after walking from the car park to the office (three or four minutes). I suppose it's an improvement on the standard SABPOU, which is what was being produced at earlier points in the week (Soaked And Bloody Pissed Off Unit).

I think I've found the secret to shopping at Ikea.

Know exactly what you want, and where they keep it in the warehouse. Call ahead to make sure they have enough of whatever it is you want to buy. And don't, for goodness' sake, go at the weekend - go late on a weekday evening. Shortcut to warehouse, get trolley, go to shelves, get three flat-packed cupboards of the seven they were alleged to have (and, unusually, did have), go to checkout, pay, leave. About 20 minutes rather than about 2 hours - admittedly, when we went at the weekend, we were making decisions and browsing as well, but yesterday was heaven in comparison.