1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your LJ along with these instructions.
5. Don’t you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.
OK - so the following excerpt is from Alex Butterworth & Ray Laurence, Pompeii. The Living City, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 2005 (p. 123):
"Everyone from landowner to day-labourer was flush with funds. Muleteers would have tethered their beasts on the outskirts of the town in the care of a paid stationarius and made for the thronged forum, and the owners of warehouses would have opened their cellars to discharge the goods stored below for sale. The forum paintings from the praedia of Julia Felix show all manner of small-time merchants hawking their wares from small wooden stalls or straight from the pavement on which they spread out coloured cloths to better display their pots and pans and metal tools (Plate 13)."
Also, the following quiz seems to tie in neatly with the above:
1. One book that changed your life?
I don't think I can point to any one book and say that that changed my life in any way. I must have read thousands over the years; most I enjoyed, some I couldn't finish, and some I forgot about as soon as I did. Maybe the first one I ever read was the book that changed my life, for if I hadn't enjoyed it it I might never have picked up another, but I'll be damned if I know which one it was.
2. One book you have read more than once?
I've read and re-read most of my books; I'll just pick the first one I see ::looks around:: Ka, by Roberto Calasso, 'an elegant compendium of Indian myths and legends'.
3. One book you would want on a desert island?
Possibly J.R.R.Tolkien, The Silmarillion...I haven't read it in ages. Or, one I haven't read before.
4. One book that made you laugh?
One of my favourites for re-reading: God Knows, by Joseph Heller. It's the story of David, his rise to power, and his troubled relationship with God, told with the driest of Jewish humor.
5. One book that made you cry?
Again, most of them. One of the first ones I can remember having had that effect on me was I Never Promised You A Rose Garden, by Hannah Green. It's a story about schizophrenia, and I first read it when I was 14 (I have this habit of signing and dating my books on the title page).
6. One book you wish had been written?
7. One book you are currently reading?
The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, by Umberto Eco. An amnesiac who somehow can remember every book he's ever read tries to piece together his personal history from the books he can find in his ancestral home.
8. One book you have been meaning to read?
The Harry Potter-series...don't know if I ever will , though. So many books, so little time.