Welcome to Withenay’s Wednesday Word: a wandering, wondering dip into the dictionary. The topics are always varied and rarely predictable!
a collection of sheets of paper, bound, printed, written on or blank
From OE boc book, beech, cf German Buche book and Buch beech, supposed to be from early Germanic use of beech boards
This week is a wonderful week for books. Yesterday Malorie Blackman was named as the new Children’s Laureate. I am a huge fan of children’s books (as you will have noticed in my interview with Sally at Frankly Books a while ago – all my favourites seem to be from children’s books rather than adult. I struggled to remember life-changing ‘adult’ books!) And I was struck by the truths in the outgoing laureate Julia Donaldson’s article about the small number of children’s authors that are given media space – on tv, radio or in papers. If one in four books sold are for children, why not 25% of book-related airtime?
Today the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction will be announced. I wish I’d had the titme to read all the short-list to review for you, but I know from past years that the winners have been excellent novels – as have the runners up. This year has a rich short-list: Hilary Mantel seems to be winning everything going with Bring up the Bodies, but Zadie Smith, Kate Atkinson and Barbara Kingsolver are all authors whose books I’ve read and enjoyed. I’m afraid I know nothing about the other two (which is not to dismiss them – it merely adds them to my ‘to-read’ list!).
The Bailey Women’s Prize for Fiction Short List:
- Kate Atkinson – Life After Life
- A M Homes – May We Be Forgiven
- Barbara Kingsolver – Flight Behaviour
- Hilary Mantel – Bring Up the Bodies
- Maria Semple – Where’d You Go, Bernadette
- Zadie Smith – NW
So why choose a simple word – book – as my word this week? Because as I looked through the definition and related words and phrases I was struck by how much this word has nothing to do with my writing career (and my love of reading) but the day-job: accountancy.
There is book-account (an account of debt or credit in a book). Or book-debt (a sum owing to a seller , as shown in the seller’s business books). And there are the more common terms of book value, or book price (the officially recorded value, not necessarily the market value) and book of original (or prime) entry (a book in which the first record of transactions is made), all of which stem from the necessary evil: bookkeeping (the keeping of accounts in a regular and systematic manner, especially the record of financial transactions of a business).
All of which leads us to my favourite. When my parents found that I had left my favourite books inside the oven one day my father knew I was destined to be an accountant. After all, aged 3 I was already cooking the books.