Maeve Binchy, Magazine
Comments 43

Sans Serif.

I feel like a whole new woman today.

Why?

Did I go on a holiday? Get a haircut? Buy something new for myself? No, no and sadly, no.

I moved my desk.

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‘How boring!!’ I hear you cry. But for those of you who, like me, are destined to spend the better part of the day stuck behind the bloody thing, you will understand how important this hunk of wood is in your life. My office has two windows. My desk was originally positioned below the side window, facing directly onto my neighbours front yard. For those of you who read my post Where Will All The Crazy Go?, you will understand how thrilled that made me. Needless to say, that blind was always closed.

Sure, in that position the desk was convenient to both the power point and the internet cable. Sure, I now have cords unattractively snaking the entire length of a wall, and I have had to switch my internet to wireless. But now, my desk overlooks MY front garden, and the street outside. It is also in prime position to watch the morning sunrise, which I adore.

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The whole thing has better, you know, what do they call it…feng shui.

So I have had a great day, not just due to the desk-moving but because I have spent the majority of today downloading fonts for the magazine. And I have a confession to make…I am slightly addicted. To fonts. Ok, fine, totally, completely and utterly addicted. In fact, I have done barely any work at all, because I have been writing ridiculous things on Word all day in my fabulous new fonts. At my fabulous new desk. A cliché springs to mind: small things amuse small minds.

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Which brings me, somewhat rambling, to my next point. Have you ever considered the war between serif and sans serif? It has never before crossed my mind. Admittedly, serif/sans serif puts me in mind of the boring fonts you are required to use for university assignments.

But today, I discovered the beauty of serif and sans serif fonts. I discovered that serif is generally considered the easiest font for the human eye to read, because the dashes or ‘serifs’ clarify the different letters. Who knew. Who, um, actually cares.

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From an earlier post on encyclopaedia’s.

I also discovered how much I love these two fonts, and happily wasted hours (yes, hours) today, adding them to my font collection. The Paperbook magazine is looking better by the day.

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So, to a quick update on the magazine:

I have had some absolutely outstanding submissions, but there is still room for more!

The amazing Andrew over at All Downhill From Here has provided some incredible unpublished photographs. If you are unsure of which photos of yours to submit, perhaps follow his theme of children? I know that there are hundreds of you out there with thousands of photographs sitting on your computer at home, many of which have never seen the light of day. Unless you’re different to me, and don’t take millions of photos at a time…

I have had some incredible poetry submitted but as yet still no haiku’s! I have seen how many beautiful ones there are out there, so please please send them to me! Of course, I would still love to get poetry on any subject and in any style, so if you are working on some, definitely send it my way.

Again, I have some incredible prose pieces, both fiction and non-fiction, but there is still plenty of room for more. If you are having a bit of writer’s block, scribble down something about books, reading, writing, anything on that theme.

Still looking for more artwork! I am meeting tomorrow with my friend, who is one third of an amazing collective called Art Of Darkness, to get some sketches and pen and ink drawings for the magazine. But I would really love some from out there in the blogosphere, so email it to me, no matter how rough and ready you think it may be!

I have had one fantastic book review sent in, but feel free to send in some more. Scribble something down about the book you’re currently reading, or have just finished, and send it my way.

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Font obsession.

I will be taking submissions for the first issue up until the 20th July. This will give me time to finish putting the magazine together, and deciding how best to publish it on my blog.

Again, I am ecstatic at the enthusiasm and level of interest that everyone has toward this project. I am really going out on a limb here with this idea, so please believe me when I say your support is hugely appreciated.

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Sorry, I’m becoming ridiculous.

All this work has made it hard for me to start reading a new book, so I have done what I always do in similar situations. I pick up a Maeve Binchy. I will state it right here, I love that woman. Sure, she might not be on quite the same plane as some of the other writers I have talked about on this blog, but she definitely has something that none of them do. I can pick up a Binchy (and yes, I have every single one of them) open it to a page, any page, and start reading. I might read the rest of the book or just one chapter, it doesn’t matter to me.

I would not like to imagine how many times I have read each of her books. But I have each one memorised, so that gives you some idea. I know for a lot of people the thought of reading a book more than once, let alone hundreds of times, probably makes you wince. But what can I say. It’s what I read when I don’t have the energy to read, because god forbid I should ever not be reading.

I liken it to getting into a warm bath or drinking hot chocolate in front of the fire – warm, familiar, comfortable.

And on that note, I am going to light the fire and run a hot bath. And read some Maeve Binchy.

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43 Comments

  1. I totaly share your obssesion for fonts! If I start looking at the or Gods forbid, downloading them,there is simply no end! And having to make choices on which ones to use for a certain thing and which ones not feels like having to pick food from a table that has all your favourite dishes!

  2. Oh good, I’m not the only one! Fonts are amazing! It’s totally true though, I am probably now much more confused than I was previously…

  3. erickeys says

    I’ve always found fonts interesting but tried not to pay them too much mind as I knew I would get sucked in. Glad to see you’ve done that for me!

    BTW, did you receive my submission?

    • Yes I did! I just checked my sent messages and realized I didn’t reply…I’m so sorry! Blame it on too much going on, or too much downloading fonts…
      Your piece it brilliant as expected, can’t wait to publish it! Ill email you with more details 🙂
      Thanks for getting on board my friend!

  4. I think of books you re-read in times of stress or busyness or whatever as comfort books. I have several, but my favorite is the series by Wahloo-Sjowall, the Martin Beck series. For some reason. I can’t say why, but they are it.

    I also have quite a few books of house architectural plans (most of them from the Dover Publishing) and when really tired or needing a treat, I can settle down with one of those and lose myself in kitchen layouts, what do I think of a hall layout with the bathroom here, etc.

    Love fonts myself. Each has a personality.

    Love your blog too. Keep up the good work.

    • Comfort books, like comfort food. That sums it up exactly! And don’t the two just go hand in hand…I find it hard to read a Binchy without looking for something to nibble on 🙂

      Thanks for your kind comments!

    • Ahhhh comic sans! The forefather of cool fonts! I remember using it for school assignments and getting in trouble 🙂

  5. Ah yes! Fonts. Wonderful things. Love ’em. But you have a theme for someone to tackle: books I turn to in moments of stress. I read Simon Barnes or P G Wodhouse or Ngaio Marsh or …….. well you get the idea. There’s a treasure trove of restorative reading out there. And there you are – section title: Restorative Reading. My consultancy fees re very reasonable BTW 😜

  6. for me, the book I return to – over and over again when the stress of life threatens to pull me under – is Jack Kerouac’s The Dharma Bums. There’s just something about the easy lifestyle and spiritual engagement of the characters that speaks to me!

    • Ohh I haven’t read that one, although naturally I read and loved On The Road. Thanks for the recommendation, ill have to find The Dharma Bums soon!

  7. I didn’t know that about Sans Serif! Love the new position of the desk. 🙂 It’s hard to start moving furniture in my family – dad always says it’s a sign that something’s ‘wrong’ with my mum or I because it’s our go to move to ‘removing’ angst! So I try to avoid moving stuff around my house lest I be accused of instability… lol. But it’s so hard not to make changes in the Spring… 🙂

  8. I took great care in choosing sans serif over serif in my memos to students. It looks much less formal and would be more inviting to read. In that regard, I cared very much so.

    • Interesting. I never much considered the formality of serif fonts, but I suppose you’re right! That’s very nice of you to avoid formality with your students, I’m sure a lot of people would venture the other way and use serif as an intimidation tactic!

  9. I could hardly focus on the rest of the blog post after you mentioned using serif & sans serif for university assignments because I was too overwhelmed with jealousy. We had to submit absolutely everything in Times New Roman. Talk about boring. I am getting so excited about the magazine! I’ll have to share this with my fellow book bloggers and try and spark some motivation 🙂

    • Yes, please please do! Feel free to blog about it, or re-blog one of my posts!
      I have to say I use Times for all my assignments, (blah) only because I seem to despise Arial. I don’t know why. It obviously stems back to an unfortunate incident with this font in my childhood 🙂

  10. Hey!
    I am fascinated with fonts.Love them.Old English for poetry/drama/stories. Comic sans for humour or short stories. Sans serif for reviews. Serif for haiku. Gothic for angst/horror/hurt-comfort and so on.
    Btw,I do have some haikus that I’ll send in 2-3 days.
    On another note,I’ve come up with an idea for The Paperback Mag. The name is undecided,yes? How about Full Font al? Or Bbffff ? Books/Best effin/funny friend forever. lol.

    • Interesting, fonts for all occasions! I love it 🙂
      Yay, I will be very excited to receive some haiku’s! Thankyou! Great name suggestions for the mag, but I actually do have a name for it. At this stage it is under wraps, like everything else. Looking forward to the big reveal!!

  11. Enough about fonts, I want to know what that cool wallpaper is on your pc!! 🙂 It looks reminiscent of Westeros or Middle Earth, but I’m pretty sure it’s neither…
    -Jay

    • Haha great attention to detail! Actually it is the Great Barrier Reef, photographs taken from the window of a helicopter tour I took a few years ago. Stunning place. I’m impressed that you noticed that!

  12. jaydeashe: Ah, but how many fonts do you have? I have lost count, but remain fairly certain I still have fewer than 10,000. I think. Vonn Scott Bair

  13. Kira says

    I could play for hours with fonts! Does that make me a geek? You mentioned Haikus. I have one that mixes traditional Haiku style of being “nature” based but also deals with addictions. Would that be anything you’d be interested in?

    • Absolutely! This is a creative collaboration, so there’s nothing that is ‘wrong’ for the magazine…and these poems sound fantastic!
      Email them through to me at: jayde.ashe@hotmail.com and we will talk some more 🙂

  14. I am super sensitive to my surroundings, so it matters to me what my environment looks. It’s also what drives me to be organized, I just feel and sleep better when things are just the way I want them. I think *sometimes* I need to work on letting go.

    I love font discussions and enjoy both Sans Serif and Serif. My favorite font is Helvetica (typical, I know).

    • I’m the same, I find the older I get the cleaner/more organised I want things! I can’t study or write with a cluttered desk. Ahhh Helvetica.

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