1.05.2009

The Joys of Reading on Paper

I began buying books again. I'm not a big book-buying fan due to the fact that once the pleasure of a read comes to its predestined and sad climax, I've not much room to store the remaining papery carcass. The evidence of an impulse buy? The tattered remains of yet another of Jeda's flash-hobbies?

I usually don't bother with paper books, though I do read tons daily on the Internet (Google Reader, Twitter, Facebook, my blog, email, work emails, work editing projects, etc.). I don't bother, that is, unless I'm traveling and I glimpse a Stephen King book or an interesting issue of a magazine at the airport's newsstand. I may purchase a book if it's a reference piece, such as as hard to find cookbook for vegetarians or something on Genoa. It could also be a book on a technology I'm trying to learn more about or else some sort of freebie I won off the Internet by posting on someone's blog during a giveaway (hardly any effort required--much less money!).

I still avoid the cemetery of Stephen King and Anne Rice books I orphaned at the bottom of a rickety old armoir in my old bedroom at my parents weekend home. Whenever I happen to drop by, I ever-so-briefly glance at the closet before hastily moving on to other activities. It's as if they call out to me... don't you remember us and the great times we enjoyed together? It feels like a part of me or my past are buried under a corner of the carpet...but at the same time it's a happy reunion when I do happen to glance over the spines or covers...
the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice from my last year in high school! Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton and Mayfair Witches series by Anne Rice remind me of when we were first traveling, and then moving, to the Quad Cities area in 1996-1997. Then there's The Stand (uncut) by Stephen King and the three Myst books by the brothers Miller which bring back a flash of my last semester at college in '98. Speaking of college, I also still have the much-enjoyed, appreciated, and oft-remembered leftovers from college Spanish literature courses: El Coronel No Tiene Quien Le Escriba and Cien Años de Soledad by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, Aura by Carlos Fuentes, and not to forget two short stories in El Almohadón de Plumas (todo el cuento en Español and translated by Google in English) by Horacio Quiroga and Continuidad de los Parques by Julio Cortazar.

In our townhome, I do have a funereal repository of my own. It's in the form of the smaller version of the Ikea Expedit bookcase--weighing a ton and a half, it was fun moving it in '04--but it's also been filled almost to the brim by a number of documents, knick-knacks, tchotchkes, and assorted bound books that have sedimented and spilled over from inside its cubbies over the past 5-6 years. Some of the relics include the significant other unit's amassed collection of Java and programming books and several of my occult books or cassette tapes (!) of old radio mystery shows (including Sherlock Holmes and Dial M for Murder).

My current book-buying frenzy is an attempt at reclaiming my eyes (and sanity?) from the lost oblivion that is my mind high on Internet (or more recently, Twitter and Facebook), and find solace on cold wintry days the old fashioned way: with some hot tea, my cashmere throw, and some old fashioned paper reading material. Nothing like holding a book and completely immersing myself in another world -- forget anxieties, bills, or nagging to-do lists.

Recent purchases have ranged from career and personality typing books and guides, to Google books (won from a blog!) and guides for writing and designing for the web, to my latest folly... the Twilight series.

Here's a papery toast to good reading (the ultimate in old skool entertainment)!