Sunday, 27 January 2013

Hidden Between the Pages

It's no secret that I love reading. The never-ending 'To Read' list and the English degree probably gave that one away, but I also have a fondness for the actual physicality of the books themselves. Not that I have a kinky book fetish, but there's something about a freshly bought book or even a second-hand dog-eared copy that an e-book just can't compete with.

This post is a celebration of paper and ink.

Because some second-hand bookshops have a haphazard way of ordering their titles, each find can feel like a little piece of treasure. I bought this copy of Cider with Rosie from a bookshop in Haworth and I love the gold embossing on the front cover and the broken spine. It's also nice to see who the book once belonged to and imagining where they read the book, why they read it, and what they thought of it.

I found this bookmark in a copy of Wide Sargasso Sea and it's a really old advert for a local DJ in my home town. It's so strange, but it's the best part of buying second-hand books sometimes! It beats finding a dead moth in between the pages... (true story) I was tempted to ring the number and see if they were still available for kids' parties, but chickened out.

The stamps of old library books are also an interesting addition to a book's character. I laughed at the DISCARD stamp across this copy of Lady Chatterly's Lover.

I've featured this is another blog post, but it definitely needed to be included here. I'm so intrigued by the 'April 23rd Tradition' and why 'Matty' donated this book to a charity shop that contained such a personal message. I don't think their relationship ended well...

My mum took me and my sister to the library a lot as a kid and even then I used to enjoy looking at how many people had taken out a book before me and when. I miss these little library cards, and although I realise that giving every book a barcode to scan is much easier, you just miss out on this little  pleasure. This is also a book that I need to return to my secondary school. Woops.

Now this is probably the best thing I've ever found in a second-hand book. Yep, that's an actual four leaf clover. It's in a copy of The Virgin Suicides and I'm torn between framing it or setting it out into the world again. I'm sure someone out there could do with some good luck right now :)

I also have a book that has a pretty cool embossed stamp of a couple's name and address on the first page, but thought it was best not to publicise that on the internet!

And this is why I'll probably never buy a Kindle or anything like that. There's so much more to a book than the words printed on the page.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

SoLIta Restaurant Review

Me and my boyfriend have an expensive habit of dining out a lot. On the never ending quest for the perfect burger we chose to see what SoLIta in the Northern Quarter had to offer in the meat stakes (steaks?). Similar to Almost Famous, it's Twitter feed boasts pictures of moutwatering juicy burgers and handcooked fries, but minus the cocktails served in jars.

The actual venue seemed to be an odd mix of posh-hipster - cloth napkins and polished cutlery next to filthy burgers and a placemat paper menu. The room also felt a bit small, but apparently there's a larger bar downstairs.

To start we shared a pulled pork sundae which came in a sundae glass with a splodge of mashed potato on top. No complaints there.

For mains Courtney went for the Big Manc special, whilst I chose the Catalan burger. The Big Manc being an uber pimped up Big Mac of course.

I was slightly disappointed by my choice of burger though. I was expecting something really tasty as it contained grilled chorizo and red peppers, but it was a bit nothingy. Just a standard burger. Courtney's Big Manc however was pretty kick ass, and tasted just like how you wish a real Big Mac would. Apparently McDonald's secret sauce isn't so secret, and it was recreated perfectly here, if not better!

The fries that came alongside the burgers were hand cooked and really nice, light and crispy, and the tomato ketchup definitely tasted homemade. Service was also pretty good and we didn't have too long to wait for our food.

Courtney finished things off with another special from the board - peanut butter brownie with Oreo icecream. I'm not a fan of peanut butter, but I had some of the Oreo icecream and it tasted amazing.

Overall it was a pretty good dining experience, but I felt like the whole vibe of the place is a bit confused. It seems like a place for those who want to try American diner food but don't want to get their hands dirty. And you definitely pay for that privilege.

Pay SoLIta a visit, but make sure that it's after pay day (or on a Monday when they various deals on).

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