I read alot. I go to bookstores and spend too much money on a regular basis. I get caught up in books and rarely find one I figure to be bad. I tend to buy books at random and don’t have a particular style that I prefer. When I was a kid I was into the pulpy science fiction and then moved into the horror, Stephen King and Ann Rice were my favorites there. But genres tend to get repetitive, especially by the same author; there isn’t a whole lot of plot or character development difference between Interview with the Vampire and Taltos or any of the other myriad of New Orleans goth books Ann Rice wrote. I tend to buy most of them, but have really lost interest in them.
Over the past few years I’ve consciously endeavoured to branch out in books I buy. I look for interesting covers and plot descriptions. I don’t follow reviews much, but I have picked up some of the well reviewed books, the Oprah books or whatever. It’s not that I went looking for a book that someone said was good so much as the book i chose happened to be on that list. I’ve read many gems in recent times; Wicked, Life of Pi, Smilla’s Sense of Snow, the whole baroque cycle (and the rest of the Neal Stephenson collection), The Adventures of Cavalier and Clay, a boatload of others too and discovered new favorites. The aforementioned Neal Stephenson, Neil Gaiman, Michael Ondaantje have all become staples of my bookshelf. And I still buy pulp too…I have several Jonathon Kellerman books, and the whole wheel of time collection (whoda thunk I’d get sucked into a geeky fantasy story?).
This collection of fiction is interspersed with a number of non-fiction books…a bunch on sales craft, a whole shelf of poker books, a few on various music things, and biographies of Einstein, Zappa, Bowie, Lennon, various other musicians, artists and science figures, both of Wil Wheatons books. All in all its a fairly diverse bunch of books. I can’t say that I own any classics tho (unless you count Sun Tzu’s Art of War as a classic). No, other than art of war the earliest written book I have is probably from the 60’s.
I also can never seem to get rid of books. I loan them out and all that, but I’m loathe to throw them out or donate them or sell them to the used book store for some reason. I always think that I may want to read it again. It’s the one place in my life that I’m a total packrat. The result of this is that over the years I’ve amassed a fair number. When I broke up with the ex she kept some of my books, and previous to that we had moved and made me donate a couple boxes, which was hard. I still have a 7 ft by 5ft bookshelf filled two levels deep, and another smaller one stacked up.
Yesterday, Chapters/Indigo/Coles had a customer appreciation day where they gave 20% off all books. I went down to Indigo and ended up buying 5 books. I purchased a book called “Fuck-Up” just cuz of the title, 2 books by Neal Stephenson and another guy, a book called “Aztec” that looks like it will either be real cool or a “Sarum” like snoozer, and “The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King”, a classic non fiction book in the poker world about the richest texas hold’em game ever played (with 10s of millions of bux on the table at times!!!). I’ve always planned to buy Professor/Banker/Suicide king but never had. So now I have it.
So, there’s no real point to my post other than we were speaking about books at work earlier and it got me thinking that I’ve never written in my blog about this very large piece of my life. So there’s the thousand foot view.