Friday, December 4, 2009

Take a load off...

Thinking about the pet dog of one of my characters this morning led me to take a dip into Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories. 
I read his tale about camels to kickstart my imagination
How did the camel get his hump? Then, how did the whale get his throat? And what was the sing-song of old man kangaroo? Kipling's answers are fantastical accounts that never lose their magic.
The next book I picked up was the Literary Pocket Companion. It covers every kind of fact about literature you'd ever care to know, plus many more. I like to flip it open to a random page and start reading. 
The page I opened to today happened to tell an enlightening tale about the 400 camels of Abdul Kassem Ismael of Persia.
"This tenth century scholarly Grand Vizier never left home without his personal library of 117,000 books, and to ensure any of his librarians could locate any book almost immediately, his camels were taught to walk in alphabetical order.
"It all sheds new light on Rudyard Kipling's description of how the camel got his hump - because he spent his days saying 'humph'."
I have never thought much about camels. But I have a new respect for them, knowing how hard Mr Ismael's camels humphed and puffed, lugging his beloved library back and forth across the desert. 
Amazon is flogging its new, super-duper 'wireless reading device' (with 360,000 books to download in a matter of seconds) across the globe this Christmas. 
They should have called it the Camel, not the Kindle.

4 comments:

Georgia said...

The kindle would definitely have made Mr Ismael's camels load a little lighter, but I'm wondering if downloading and using your stylist to flip through your latest literary find is the same as curling up on the couch and devouring the real deal?
Opinions? Just asking because am thinking of getting a camel, I mean a Kindle. ; )

Rubyfire writes said...

Me too...but what's a reading experience without cover art and the texture of pages??
Be good for the aeroplane though. Hmmm. Anyone with a Kindle out there?
PS. um...stylus (?) ;)

Georgia said...

Oh... stylus!.... On second thought I'd rather have a stylist!

Sam said...

Ha ha - stylist? Too funny? Really, a girl could and should have both ;)

I am a mad-keen Kindle convert. The girls gave me one for my birthday and I just love it! Believe it or not, it has made me an even-keener reader than I was before my amazing gift of a shiny new Camel. I cannot recommend it highly enough and knowing how much time you girls spend 35,000 feet up in the heavenly skies, it is just perfect for travel xxx