How do you do it?

I have just re-read one of Donna Leon’s novels, set in Venice. In one part of the story, her protagonist, Commissario Guido Brunetti was at home having a solitary lunch. He wanted to read a book while he ate, but the pages wouldn’t stay open. Here’s how he solved the problem:

“He took out the lasagne, cut it and put a chunk on a plate. He poured a glass of Pinot grigio then opened Gibbons to his place, and propped it up against two books Paola had left on the table. He employed a cutting board and a serving spoon to hold the pages open on both sides. Satisfied with the arrangement, he sat down and started to eat.”

I asked one of my email buddies what she does to hold her books open, and she said she often uses bananas. At $12-$15/kg over here, that’s not a good option.

So, here’s how I keep the book I’m currently reading ( Bella Mafia, by Lynda La Plante) open while I read and knit. A garlic press can serve more than one purpose. Let’s hear how you have solved this life problem.

There's usually a mug of coffee close by, also



Filed under Books, Reading, Venice

13 responses to “How do you do it?

  1. Irina, I knew I could count on you for an original answer. You didn’t let me down. 🙂

    PS I use my e-book that way, also. Poor e-books.


  2. Irina

    I keep the papers books open with my e-book (so ebook doesn’t feel useless)


  3. You’re another slacker, Michelle! 🙂


  4. Michelle

    Except for sipping a cuppa (coffee, tea, you name it) and possibly have the TV on I also no longer multi task while I’m reading so it’s no longer a problem.
    I’m sure there is a lawyer somewhere who would take up that law suit for you though.


  5. Bert

    You are too late, Yvonne. See here:


  6. Not that there’s anything wrong with ironing your newspaper …..


  7. Oh, Andrew, we need to set up a therapy session, and soon! Next you’ll be telling me you iron your newspaper! 🙂


  8. Andrew

    I’m very ‘anal’ about my books. I can’t stand it if the spine gets creased so I have to hold the book carefully. I know, I should get out more.


  9. Maybe we can invent something to hold a book open, Maité, get rich and spend more time in Venice! Ciao.


  10. Une pomme, un pot de confitures, ce que j’ai sous la main…Buona giornata, a presto !


  11. Nah, I reckon you’re getting slack, Darnit! 🙂 Mind you, with the human dynamo around you a lot, you wouldn’t do much reading, while she’s there.


  12. djones47

    Used to be a problem, but now I don’t multi-task. Am I getting wiser as I get older?


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