Excerpt from an article by Emily Temple in the`Literary Hub’


Sleeping or Dead? and other hilarious “practical books for librarians” in pulp classic form.

the weird and the disturbing…

about to make its presence known. soon. wherever books are sold.

a little pessimism, a little complaining

or a bit of kvetching…(it is what it is, call it what you please)

yes. it’s a long read. go for it…

Okay, so I am pondering what seems to be days on end about this: What impact does the pandemic have on reading?

Are there more or fewer people actually reading books? Have more and more people turned to quick fixes by reading bits and blurbs, or just taking in a few headlines or images on various sites and blogs? Have our concentration spans become tweeted down to that of a gnat?

From actually reading what is being written in actual sites do people just skim over the titles or peruse the title or an image in a feed or in some other multi site aggregator? The devolution from gourmet to fast food hit the books.

There are no veritable sources for this kind of info. You cant dip your nose into everyone’s household and tally up their reading habits to really understand what’s what. However, it is a topic of concern.

I read, avidly. It’s my ‘thing’. I like to observe the trends, what’s trending, how they are marketed, what roles books are playing or could play in society. It is a fast changing world. Are online publishers the ‘thing’ now more than ever? Are brick and mortar book stores going to regain their strength worldwide once again?

Where I live, in Greece, we are one whole year in lockdown, with the exception of a summer break off from lockdown which turned out to be a disaster. Schools recently reopened after being closed for months. Our economy is in shambles. Literally. Television here has declined to mind numbing jibberish. How good can that be for those locked up in lock down? People here end up constantly binge watching netflix or spending incredible amount of time on you tube for days on end. Book shops are closed. Most don’t have an online presence. Are people in these situations reading actual ‘take them off the shelf’ books? Or are they reading whatever they read online. It’s a habit that is easy to get used to. Looks grim.

Will ‘physical’ bound and paged books made from paper (as in cut down trees, I know) and printed with ink be a thing of the past soon?

Are books going to become tomorrow’s rotary dialed telephones? You know, becoming obsolete, then vintage, then just some of those untouched ‘what do you do with this’ things that are will end up displayed on a shelf for their aesthetic value or stuffed in a box in the attic?

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

my kind of shop…

image from pinterest

Free excerpt

This is from one of my unpublished books whose story spans over many decades and cultures. It looks at the more intricate details about everyday moments that go on behind closed doors in order to capture the essence of their lives.

From The Key (c) by Suzy Valtsioti

“Just another day in their life.

Actually, just another day in their lives would be more accurate.

Their lives were housed ‘together’ but they remained ‘separate’. If sharing common space and possessing legal papers that declared a marriage took place makes two people a couple, then you can call them a couple. A noisy couple made up of two rather opposite individuals.

Most of the time they are at each other’s throats. Their sparring is practically continuous, interrupted only by their “moments of quiet”.

Moments of quiet in their home aren’t peaceful or serene.

If you define ‘moments of quiet’ as rather peaceful moments leading to conflict resolution – as moments that allow for one to catch their breath or to calmly think things through – then your idea of ‘moments of quiet’ are not what this couple experience.

Their ‘moments of quiet’ hardly allow for them to approach one another in a calmer state of mind. No.

Their ‘moments of quiet’ are like black clouds looming over their heads threatening to hurl and lash yet another storm like no other.

These quiet moments, when they arrive, cloak their rooms like a weighty veil.

They are both aware of this suffocating pressure change in the air when these moments arise. They have always felt it all these years.

Their ‘moments of quiet’ bore a silence that was tense and threatening. The both of them probably don’t know which is worse, their arguing or the morose silence in between the wars. And that perception is probably one of the few things that these two people had in common.

Continue reading “Free excerpt”




writing is the painting of the voice.

Nicolas de Largillière, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

“In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.”

― Mark Twain