booksMy current employer, Leeds University Library, is running an event called “Leeds Read at the moment, to culminate with World Book Day on Thursday 2nd March 2006.

Around the various buildings, there are displays and opportunities for people to vote for their favourite book, and there are special “meet the author” type events too. The staff room in my library has a bookswap event going on too, in a take-a-book-leave-a-book way.

As I’m somewhat a fan of the printed word, I thought I would take part in the bookswap event but it seems that everyone is in the same position I am: they don’t want to swap away their favourite books (because they need to be kept for re-reading) so instead they’re giving away ones that they don’t particularly like. Well, it’s either that or some people have really, really bad taste in books. Some of them smack of the impression that the donators are even too embarrassed to give them away to charity shops and that abandonment in the (typically bleak) staff room seems like the best way to get rid of them – and the most appropriate ending for the books’ sorry, sorry lives.

The TerminatorAside from the “Television Crimebusters Omnibus” from circa 1982, the only book on the table that has caught my eye is the novelisation of the film “The Terminator” – and that’s because my brain has such a hard time dealing with the concept of a NOVELISATION of the film “The Terminator” that every time I go into the room, I have to reassure it that the book is actually real.

I like the film (indeed have watched the first two films in the series countless times and spent all of 29th August 1997 waiting for my 286 computer to leap up and strangle me) but fodder for a good book, it is not. I can only imagine how it opens:

  • “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; Kyle Reese lay dying in Sarah Connor’s arms, at least knowing that he had fathered the man who would eventually send him back in time to, um, father him.” (The Tale of Two Terminators)
  • “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single woman in possession of a John Connor-spawning uterus, must be murdered by a deadly cyborg from the future.” (Terminate and Terminating)
  • “Call me Ahhrnuld, I mean T100.” (Termy Dick)
  • “It was a pleasure to assassinate.” (Terminator 451)
  • “My father’s family name being Kyle Reese, and my christian name John, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than ‘future saviour of the human race and leader of the rebel army'” (Great Terminations).
  • “Sarah Connor, handsome, clever, and fertile, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her until the Terminator showed up at her door.” (Sarah)
  • “This is the story of what a Woman’s resiliance can endure, and what a Man’s semen can achieve.” (Terminator in White)
  • “The Terminator had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by huge assault rifle.” (MiddleTerminate)

One day, I’ll remember to bring in my novelisation of “Jaws” (…yes) and make the swap. I suspect I’ll be disappointed though.