How many books are published each year?
Last week was Super-Thursday in the UK, the day of the year when most new books are published (600 this year!), apparently a sort of feast for booksellers. For me, as a reader with a neverending to-read list, this is slightly overwhelming. It makes me think of Alicia Martin’s Biografias & Matej Kren’s Idiom installations. But that is actually nothing, when looking at macro-data about how many books have been published so far this year!
According to UNESCO estimations, 2.2 million new titles are published worldwide each year! 2.2 million! This article reveals even more stats and data, including how many books have ever been published, since the invention of the printing press.
I need to read more!
Photos source: Room Raters
I devoured this Financial Times article about how shelving became the status symbol of 2020 because I have always believed that my bookshelves, filled with hundreds of books and various other precious and personal objects speak about me and my interior world in a way my own words couldn’t match. So, if ever there was a time to fill those bare walls with shelves and art and plants and whatever else tickles your fancy, now it’s the time!
And of course, Twitter made the whole story so much better, with not one, but two accounts reviewing the backgrounds of people who have appeared on TV live from home in recent months, from politicians to movie stars and everything in between.
I am honestly so tempted to send them a screenshot of my setup for a recent work event if only Room Raters would give it the time of day! Check them out, they are hilarious, plus the decor tips are absolutely valid!
Someone recently mentioned on Instagram the Orange & Champagne Marmalade from Fortum & Mason (in itself a purely exquisite place to fulfill all sorts of indulgences) and it sounded so decadent (in the modern sense, rather than the original, see below) that I had to find out more about what else is out there.
It turns out the most luxurious (read expensive) marmalade in the world, priced at over £5,000 is also made using champagne (vintage Pol Roger), as well as 62-year-old Dalmore whiskey, premium oranges and flecks of gold. I love how Duerr’s, the producers, paint the picture: If you were to spread this valuable marmalade evenly onto a slice of toast, each mouthful would cost you £11, with the full slice adding up to £76!
This makes me think of my mom’s praises for whole green walnuts jam, candied walnuts in sweet, runny liquor, apparently difficult and expensive to make, but a sort of vintage delight that was served, at least in our culture, for special occasions, on the finest China. Only imagine how many other similarly exquisite indulgences exist around the world…
I love Thursdays
There is research around why we hate Mondays, as well as why Mondays are the best? There are also some studies on why Tuesday is actually the worst day of the week. We all know Fridays and Saturdays are top favorites, with Sundays being as bipolar as Mondays. But, there is no science that I could find on why actually Thursdays are the best! I was honestly surprised because that’s what I believe.
I love Thursdays mainly for the sense of anticipation at the last working day of the week and the upcoming weekend. That’s when I tend to start thinking about and planning what I’m going to do on Saturday and Sunday (or even Friday evening). It’s the potential the next few days hold. By Thursday, most of the heavier work tasks are done and I always have another flurry of productivity on Fridays, wanting to leave things in a good place for Monday ( I am one of those who find Mondays great as well!)
Try this exercise of imagination and look at Thursdays through my lens if you’re not doing it already. It’s such a rewarding feeling.
Photos source: Window Swap
Created as an answer to the current unprecedented situation, which has restricted significantly the ability to travel freely, especially for pleasure, Window Swap is a portal into what other people around the world see when they look out the window. It’s very therapeutic and there is a large mix of countries and settings, from the urban jungle to, quite literally, the jungle! Open a window somewhere in the world – escapism in the current era.
Exquisite word – Decadent
Photo source: Imgur
I’ve always loved words and I often find myself fascinated by their (hi)stories. Case in point, a word we sometimes use today to describe a luxurious treat, most often than not a dessert – decadent – has quite the opposite meaning originally and it’s still widely used in that negative sense. Derived from the Latin verb decadere meaning ‘to fall’ or ‘to sink’ its true meaning is ‘in a state of decay’. Over a few centuries, the meaning has slightly shifted to accommodate the nuance of ‘excess’ and add two more centuries, give or take, we have now come to use it to describe petit plaisirs like a particularly delicious chocolate cake. What a rare word, to count among its synonyms corrupt, degenerate or immoral, sitting side by side with luxurious and plentiful!
Real-Life Exquisite Finds
It’s happening, you can now indulge in Miss Onion’s Exquisite Finds on Instagram as well. You won’t see most of the finds that I share through my weekly letters, but rather more real-life exquisite finds, sourced mainly from local car boot fairs, charity shops and online markets, and everyday exquisite moments, when the inspiration strikes. See you there!
My first post was one of my latest purchases, an (almost complete and pretty sure vintage) set of four dinner plates and three bread/salad plates by Wessex Collection. The ‘scripted’ dinnerware is properly heavy and thick, and when I went online trying to find a match and complete my set I realised the price for just one plate starts at ₤6, what I paid for all seven I bought, and can go as high as ₤14! A set of 12 pieces, including bowls, sold on Etsy for $195!
What’s more, I believe this collection might have inspired the very popular Emma Bridgewater range of similarly scripted dinnerware. I can’t seem to find many details about the Wessex Collection, unfortunately.
Needless to say, I am quite chuffed with my find!
If this letter has offered you a moment of inspiration, kindly forward it to others who might enjoy it too. And if you have been forwarded it, indulge in all previous Miss Onion’s Exquisite Finds and subscribe to the weekly letter at www.missonion.ro.