Tuesday 24 June 2008

Barthes sneezing?

One of the fun things which a blog-hits counter like www.statcounter.com (the one I use) can do is track keyword searches. That way, along with seeing the routes people take from other blogs, I can see the Google searches which landed the web surfer on the Stuck-in-a-Book doorstop. And, for the past year or so, I've been making a note of the ones which amuse me the most...

Quite a few people, naturally, get here on a literary quest. Mentioning Crow Lake by Mary Lawson, The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence and The Summer Book by Tove Jansson have all proved advantageous - I suspect at least the first two appear on high school syllabi, since the search
es are often prefixed by "summary of chapter 6 of" or 'central characters in'. All well and good. Less understandable are bookish hunts such as 'Why does Scrooge go to the lighthouse?' (see sketch), or 'value of book signed by Maria von Trapp'. I don't think Stuck-in-a-Book has ever provided answers to these most valuable questions. Nor 'Books with Wednesday in the title'. 'Blogs with books on nuclear instrumentation' baffled, and rather worried, me.

Some rather more hit the mark, though. 'must read book overindulgence' is perhaps my favourite, 'bricks for bookcases' is also quite fun, though how 'why is work so dull' got here, I can't imagine. 'I shan't worry about that today, I'll worry about that tomorrow' might find themselves right at home.

And then there are the ones which are simply fun:
'The Happy Birthday song in Middle English' (see sketch)

'The Bentall Centre toilets'
'Boxes of 100 fireworks'
'How much is shortbread?'
'Wot is siblings'

'Don't Break My
Heart My Itsy Bitsy Heart'

'My desk is stuck'

'doo doo doo do do you are so wonderful'

'dooby doo'

'It is time again'

'Barthes sneezing'

'Congratulatory cats'

'Sample family letters requesting pardon'

'Most sympathetic animals'

What to say about them! I can only imagine they were disappointed...


  1. Some really, really quite random searches there. However, if you find out the answer to the Maria von Trapp one do let me know as I have one lurking somewhere! ;)

  2. 'Don't Break My Heart My Itsy Bitsy Heart' is, I think, the first line from a country and western song by Billy Joe Cyrus, much beloved of line dancers. Only it's 'achey breaky' heart, not 'itsy bitsy'. I'm trying to decide whether I should be embarrassed that I know that.

  3. And I should be even more ashamed that I know (or I think I know) that it's actually 'Don't Tell My Heart...', commonly mistaken for 'Don't Break My Heart'...

    Simon, very shamefaced.

  4. Simon, whoever was doing the search really *didn't* know the song did they! LOL!

  5. Hilarious searches ... and what a wonderful idea to keep a note of them.

    The weirdest I've found on mine (and I discovered stat counter courtesy of you, Simon, thank you) is:
    close book and put on the shelf may never see light again

    I can only hope this isn't a thoughtful reflection on my writing ability ... !

  6. How funny. I use Typepad and I can follow the link to find a person's search, but I don't often do that. I may have to make note, though, as it would be interesting to see how people find my blog. I wonder now, just what the most sympathetic animal IS? Hmm.

  7. A sibling is a lovesome thing, God wot.

  8. We had a rather creepy one on our blog recently - 'how to kill my father and get away with it'...

  9. Dear "peta", the answer is "not very much"; a quick search reveals signed copies of "Maria" at about £20.

    As to the answer to the question posed by "danielle", well my human avatar has no doubt it is a feline.

    Dark Puss

  10. Hey, I'm not suposed to laugh out loud at work. :-)


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