fauxklore (fauxklore) wrote,

Things I Should Not Be Allowed to Do, Part 4796

I suspect that most people do not think, "oh, I need Christmas cards, I will go to local independent bookstore." Especially since I should not really be allowed to go to bookstores, other than to used bookstores to get rid of books.

Alas, the branch of Olsson's by work is not all that great. The Courthouse branch is far better and a movie I had been planning to see was playing at the theatre nearby (The Dareeling Express, which proved to be so-so) and I needed a night without housework and... well, it's really all excuses. Or maybe it was just a side effect of eating Galapaguitos.

I did buy Christmas cards (with art by Charles Addams, no less) and a calendar (with Edward Gorey's The Other Statue as the artwork). Then I saw Mark Ovenden's Transit Maps of the World. I actually left the store to think it over. But it is the sort of thing I love and it proved irresistable. I love all maps and I love trains and I knew I would love looking at it and thinking, "yes, that is where I used to get off the train to go to my hotel in Kyoto" or "oh,, that's the stop where you get the bus to Los Domenicos" (in Santiago) or "that's where Robert and I used to meet at the end of his work day in London."

The book is beautiful. There is also, apparently, a website. But paper is more conducive to browsing and more satisfying for this sort of thing.

Since I was already into "pay with plastic" territory, I also picked up Just Say Nu by Michael Wex. The Yiddish is, alas, only transliterated, making it harder for me to read. The transit maps include the real thing, in whatever alphabet or characters are used locally.

Ironically, ,the metro service on the way home was particularly awful for 9:30 at night. I got on a 4-car train after an 8 minute wait and it was at least as crowded as a typical rush hour 6 or 8-car train. And I noticed that the next Vienna train on the display (4 minutes after mine) was a 2-car train. I didn't even think they had 2-car trains. For this, our fares are going up over 20% in January? (Actually, off-peak fares are not going up, but I can still whine. My rush hour fare is effectively going up by over 60% because my transit subsidy is not increasing enough anywhere near the difference.)

But the Washington metro transit map is a graphical masterpiece.
Tags: books, metro

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