This shop uses cookies and other technologies to operate the shopping basket and improve the usability of the Wild Places Publishing website. Continued use of this site indicates your acceptance of our privacy and cookies policy, and our terms and conditions.

close
A Bedside Book for Older Cavers
  • A Bedside Book for Older Cavers

A Bedside Book for Older Cavers

GIL

Cavers ... Folk with attitude. At least, any that are over seventy years old have attitude (of the good sort!), says John Gillett as he maintains a positive approach to life.

Post to
£9.75
Quantity

When you have made your selection, if the item is in stock you will be able to place your order.

 

Secure payment

 

Prices include delivery

Description

A Bedside Book for Older Cavers

Every so often a book comes along that has a wide appeal, wider even that for cavers alone. In his 'bedside book', John Gillett explains how older cavers develop and maintain a positive attitude; it is filled with his stories and anecdotes, philosophies and stimulating thoughts. Younger cavers will one day become older and might wish to see where they are going. Older readers will surely recognise themselves and their friends, at least by reason of having experienced similar thoughts and escapades. But for everyone, just sit down and read and enjoy.

A Bedside Book for Older Cavers was positively reviewed in Descent (235): see under the Reviews tab.

We also stock John's 2018 book: Sixty Years of Caves and Caving

Product Details
GIL

Data sheet

Author:
John Gillett
Binding:
Softback
Dustjacket:
No dustjacket issued when published
Size:
152mm x 228mm approx
New or used:
Book: new
Pages:
136
Publication date:
2013
ISBN:
978-1-909220-75-1

A Bedside Book for Older Cavers

John GILLETT

Mirador, Langport. 2013. 142pp, 17 b&w illustrations. Softback, 152mm × 229mm. £8.99

ISBN 978-1-909220-75-1

JOHN Gillett’s first book, Of Caves and Caving (see Descent 168 and 201), saw him detail his life story – at least, the part of it that relates to caving and this produced his subtitle: A way and a life. In essence, John wrote a series of cameos covering significant events or caving trips in a manner that would appeal to any caver. The book did well and the original 2002 printing went into a second edition in 2007.

Time has continued apace and John is now over seventy years old – but he remains active and, as his new title suggests, A Bedside Book for Older Cavers is intended to give all aging cavers something to read in their armchairs. More than that, his theme threading throughout the thirty stories is that everyone faces a daily challenge at some level and, no matter your age and ability, you should get out there, get on with it and do what you most desire. You might be surprised, after all, at what you can achieve and each of John’s trips, from the lava tubes of Lanzarote to Giant’s Hole, and from Sell Gill Holes to the huge French chamber of La Verna, were undertaken as a septuagenarian.

Along the way, John explores ideas such as what it means to be ‘experienced’, how risk might be quantified, the value of keeping a diary (and reading widely, including Descent), how to encourage folk of his age to take up the sport, what the loss of pubs means to our culture and, back to the theme of every caver taking on a personal goal, how ascending six floors on foot might be a personal Everest to overcome. In this, younger cavers might learn much – including, for some, a better understanding of the limitations of age; those more mature are more likely to nod, knowingly. His comparison of geriatric cavers with old banger cars forms a lovely anecdote, complete with a plea for anyone seeing an aged one struggle under a load, to please help him out.

As with Of Caves and Caving, delightful pencil drawings are scattered through the pages of what is produced by print-on-demand publishing, so while these are perfectly acceptable they are not reproduced at the highest quality, but it does mean that the book is attractively priced. The Kindle edition is even less at a shade over £3, complete with an amusing bit of legalese which does not appear in the paper edition: ‘Any reference to real names and places are purely fictional and are constructs of the author’. Yes, right!

For some light reading (including a few fictional stories), to dip into and out while relaxing by a fire, John has filled a niche that hitherto has lain empty. As he says, ‘older folk ... are time-machines for visiting the past’ (so younger cavers, ask and ye shall learn) and ‘if you are long in the tooth, caver, or non-caver, you can still be young at heart.’

One piece of text by John’s seven-year-old granddaughter Clare, written after a trip to Thistle Cave, says much: ‘My Grandad likes to go into caves. He goes into lots of caves. Granny says he is too old to go in caves now but she says it keeps him happy.’ Having described her sojourn underground, Clare ends with: ‘It was good fun. I love caving.’

Get ‘em while they’re young, eh? Keep on caving, John.

Chris Howes

First published in Descent (235), December 2013

Non-UK orders


If stock is available for all post destinations, selecting any set of options will allow you to place your order immediately.

If stock is limited, for example with a single copy of a second-hand book, it will be assigned to UK stock. If you require posting to an address outside the UK, selecting your options may not allow an order to be placed, even though stock is available. If this is the case, please contact us to enable the options you require.
These are 16 products selected at random from the same category

Reference: IB

Images Below

A manual of underground and flash photography: cave photography for cavers, by Chris Howes

Price £22.50
More
Select from the options above

Reference: CDD

Classic Darksite Diving

A guide to dive sites in caves and mines throughout Britain and Europe, by Martyn Farr Use the Updates tab to check for new access information before undertaking any dive

Price £27.50
More
Select from the options above

Reference: AU

Adventures Underground

A journey of exploration through the caves of the Yorkshire Dales, by Dave Haigh and John Cordingley. WINNER OF THE 2017 TRATMAN AWARD

Price £24.95
More
Select from the options above
Customers who bought this also bought:

Reference: LA

The Last Adventure

Alan Thomas' collection of cave diving stories of exploration, published under the Ina Books imprint.

Price £6.00
More
Select from the options above

Reference: Sixty

Sixty Years of Caves and Caving

John Gillett has been places, done things ... and in Sixty Years of Caves and Caving has added chapters to his older Of Caves and Caving book to produce this new edition. And it's at a lower price, as well!

Price £9.75
More
Select from the options above

Reference: AU

Adventures Underground

A journey of exploration through the caves of the Yorkshire Dales, by Dave Haigh and John Cordingley. WINNER OF THE 2017 TRATMAN AWARD

Price £24.95
More
Select from the options above