Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Falling off the (book) Wagon


I’ve been good for as long as I could. I’ve got so many unread books around my house, literally a couple of thousand, that I’ve been trying not to buy many new books. Of course, I don’t count kindle books that I’ve been picking up from author friends (although some of those have been free). It hasn’t helped any that my reading pace so far this year has been pretty slow. Part of that was reading a few books in a row that I didn’t care that much for, and I’m not the kind of guy who can just put a book down easily once I’ve started it. Part of it, also, is just having been very busy with other work. And there’s a little bit of blame that goes to my new video game, the entire “DOOM” lineup.

Up until a couple of days ago, though, I was doing pretty well at resisting the urge to buy books. Then I saw a cheap copy of a book I’d read via ebook and thought, “why not?”  The dam burst after that. In the space of two days I ordered a new Doc Savage, two Star Trek graphic novels, three books in Taylor Anderson’s Destroyerman series, an old book by Max Brand, under the George Challis name, and some assorted other readables. I’m off the wagon, out on a binge. The gutter beckons. Will I be able to resist?  I guess you’ll have to stay tuned to find out.

In the meantime, I took a break from the binge yesterday to drive up to Lafayette, Louisiana to see my son, who is in architectural school there. He was recognized at their honors convocation so I enjoyed that!

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29 comments:

Merisi said...

Man, you simply can't be helped! :-)

Congratulations on your son's achievements. It'a such sweet pleasure to see one's children succeed.

Paul R. McNamee said...

I am always falling off the book wagon. :)

Kudos to your son!

Cloudia said...

Doesn't Revelation say something about 'of the reading & writing of books there can be no end' or some such ? Nevah gonna Read em all:-)


Aloha

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations to your son!
I've seen that Doc Savage on several sites in the past week.

Snowbrush said...

Gee, old Max died at 51 of shrapnel wounds, and his real name was Frederick Schiller Faust. I'm glad you inspired me to look him up.

Charles Gramlich said...

Merisi, I know, I know. Lana said, at least it isn't heroin.

Paul, there's not much hope for us.

Cloudia, I believe you're right, or at least you should be.

Alex, thanks, man. Yes, it looks pretty good.

Snowbrush, yeah, I will always remember him as Max Brand. He wrote under several different names, though

Chris said...

Entirely too many books myself, but I still indulge. Ugh.

Riot Kitty said...

Books is a good addiction.

Ty Johnston said...

I tend to stop buying books for months at a time, then I go on book-buying splurges over a month or two. Usually this happens when I run across a used book store that is new to me. I loved used book stores, especially older ones. There's always a few gems hidden away on a dusty shelf or beneath a stack of faded paperbacks.

Keith said...

Congratulations to your son.

As for books, there's this great used book store just over on...

Oh, wait, that's not helping is it?

Vesper said...

I know exactly the feeling. I keep saying "I'm not buying anymore books until I read everything I have" and then I buy some more.. For a day or two I feel guilty like hell and then the pleasure of having, not just reading these books, takes over... :-)

Most importantly, congratulations to your son!

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Congratulations to your son, Charles.

I fall off the book wagon so often that I have promised myself I won't buy a new or secondhand book till I have read at least a dozen in my unread collection. I can't imagine what I might be missing.

ivan said...

Yep.
"On the writing of books there is no end," says Ecclesiastes, the preacher.
It's got to be the best little apochrypha in the Bible.

And then, our imported symphony conductor, Yucca-Pucca Soriastes, from Findland, said, "I have had enough of stuffy Toronto," packed his bags and flew back to Helsinki, Finland. I think he is succeeding there.
"Just as well, said a friend here.
"What do you expect with a name like Yucca-Pucca Sorryass."

That which you love can become cloying,I suppose-- it seemed that my forty years as a commercial writer had somehow blunted my creativity.

That's when I quit the Star Weekly
Omigod. No rent, and I am bent.


(But then i saw the much vaunted Broadway play, "Rent."
What a disappointment.
Sometimes you need to see a bad play to get your own juices up)!

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

I'm the same way. If I start a book, I have to finish the book. Another obstacle in reading quantity is writing quantity. I've noticed reading goes down in direct proportion to how good the writing is coming along. :)

Ron Scheer said...

I go in cycles like this, too. As a kid I remember buying books and simply enjoying the collecting, seldom if ever reading them. So I guess the "addiction" started early.

Randy Johnson said...

It hits me all the time. Such as it is with readers. You know the old saying: "There's no such thing as to many books."

Deka Black said...

Currently i'm reading Lyonesse III: Madouc, by Jack Vnce. After that, i'll return to the pulp train with The Mad Horde (a The Spider adventure).

But i'm always searching for good sword & sorcery stuff, Howard-style. That was my first book love and still is

X. Dell said...

I could get lost in your library. Something in me wants to catalog all your unread strays.

Charles Gramlich said...

Chris, it is particularly problematic when I also need to pay for a new roof. :)

Riot Kitty, that’s what Lana tells me.

Ty Johnston, oh yes, if a new used bookstore opened up here I’d be off the wagon in an instant! Oh, the treasures.

Keith, thanks, and no it isn’t helping. :)

Vesper, when I get down to less than 2000 unread ones around I start to get antsy!

Prashant C. Trikannad, thankee. I did try for a while to read 5 for every one I bought. Sometimes I keep that up. Not always.

ivan , amen about the things you love potentially becoming cloying. I think that has happened to me with teaching my writing class at Xavier.

Bernard Lee DeLeo, that is true about the writing. When I’m going well I read less for sure.

Ron Scheer, yes, I really do love to see full bookshelves, even if I haven’t read them all.

Randy Johnson, I must believe that saying because I sure do keep adding. I’m gonna have to move some to the other end of the house to balance the weight.

Deka Black, Haven’t read any Vance in a while but I do like his stuff and have a few of his still around in my unread pile.

X. Dell, I have my unread ones separated into general categories. SF/fantasy. Thriller/horror. Westerns. Short stories, etc.

Erik Donald France said...

That's really cool about your son!

I hear you on books. Not a bad addiction, though. I may have mentioned this before but once I had a car that had dozens of books in view broken into -- not one tome was stolen. Only a six dollar set of jumper cables. Some of the books looked particularly alluring adorned with glass shards, and I finally got around to reading them.

Aimless Writer said...

Congratulations to your son!
Buying books? It's an addiction and I can't stop. Now with kbooks, ereader, bookbub and bookbaby emailing me free and cheap books for my kindle I could go crazy. Sometimes I just hit the delete key without opening the email because I know I'll download something if I open it. However I've discovered a lot of new authors this way.

laughingwolf said...

well done, josh!

papa, no point in saying anything to you, except: HIT THE BOOKS! ;)

Charles Gramlich said...

Erik, when strangers come in my house I don't ever worry about them stealing my books

Aimless writer, book bub and book baby? tell me more.

laughingwolf, lol!

sage said...

Congratulations to your son... Maybe he could design a house for you, with more bookcases!

Richard R. said...

Ah, how well I know that demon, how often I have fallen to that gutter, sadly promising not to go there agin, only to find one day I'm on that devil's path. I have been fighting the purchase of the Doc Savage books for weeks now. Don't know how much longer I can hold out....

Keith said...

Richard, come over to the Doc Side...

Charles Gramlich said...

Sage, some day he will!

Richard R., libraries and book stores should have signs that read: Abandon all hope "of restraint" ye who enter here.

Keith, good un.

Richard R. said...

Keith, yep, good one. I did order all 4 of the Altus Doc Savage books yesterday. Help...

Richard R. said...

Keith, yep, good one. I did order all 4 of the Altus Doc Savage books yesterday. Help...