Thursday, 27 December 2007


I'm very fortunate to be reading an advance copy of A Vengeful Longing by R.N. Morris (the second in his Porfiry Petrovich series). Early next year I'll be reviewing it for Vulpes Libris, but the reason I mention it now is because it is currently test-driving one of my Christmas presents: the Gimble, which is a wonderfully simple device for holding your book open. 

It was a very thoughtful gift from The Australian. He knows better than anyone that most of my reading gets done while I'm breastfeeding The Boy, because it's the only time I'm not occupied in the important business of Stopping Him From Doing Stuff (climbing the stairs/emptying the cupboards/nutting himself on the coffee table while bobbing up and down to music . . . sorry, this is The Boy I'm talking about here, in case that wasn't clear). But lately The Boy's sheer size as well as his inability to keep still except when in a deep sleep has meant that reading has become even more of a challenge, involving contortion, determination and very achey wrists. With the Gimble, I can put the book on one side and use both hands to restrain my child. Perfect! Almost. If someone could invent a device to turn the page using only my mouth, then it would be perfect.

But I am troubled by one thing. The name. Gimble? Really? It's a kind of bendy, hooky, plastic thing for books. Does that say Gimble to you? Surely a case of nonomatopoeia, like pulchritudinous, or . . . err, some other words that don't mean what they sound like. Admittedly, it does sound like a 'small, simple object that does something very useful', but it does not sound like a book-hooker-opener-thingummybob, to me.

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