One day my friend the blonde will let me take pictures of her collection of dictionaries - I have never, even in a university library, seen so many or on so many different subjects. So far she's resisted my attempts to sneak in with a camera on the grounds that her house isn't tidy enough (tidier by far than mine though) but one day... My own collection of dictionaries and reference books is a small affair by any standards never mind hers but I still like to have books to hand.
True enough the internet is a wondrous and useful thing but sometimes it's hard to find what you want amongst all the other stuff on there, though more often my problem is that I only find what I want and not so much of the incidental stuff along the way (I know this isn't the usual problem - maybe it's my age). The great thing about something like 'The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations' is that I can browse in it for hours - or minutes as time allows. I spent a lot of Christmas and Boxing day flipping through my new copy and would keep it by my bed if I thought it wouldn't keep me awake for hours. It's the sheer variety of stuff in there (and the pretty blue and yellow ribbons - my old university colours which feels like a happy coincidence). I briefly entertained myself texting the blonde Goethe quotes in German which she understands, I don't though so when she replied in kind I came unstuck. I found some cracking stuff about sailing which I think I'll soon have cause to repeat, and swore yet again that I should actually read Dorothy Parker and not just her quotes.
It's not even as if I'm a crossword aficionado or need this sort of thing for essays or the like, I simply find myself really enjoying time in the company of a book like this. I look at it and it seems full of promise and possibility; sentences that could lead to entirely unexpected and new (to me) writers - because clearly I need more books in my life - oh yes, the dictionary is my favourite present of Christmas (excluding the half a kitchen aid which wasn't for my birthday).