Friday, March 7, 2014

On Books.

Confession. I am a book snob with a double standard. I love libraries. I love going there and sitting among the books. I like borrowing them. But they always want them back, which makes me sad. I want to keep them and give them a home with books so they'll be among friends. But I have to give them back. But, then at least someone else may take them home and enjoy them for a bit too. So, maybe they don't get to lonely. I'm doing this 40 bags in 40 days de-cluttering and de-crapifying your life thing with a friend of mine. Because a) it really needs to be done and b) I have to move in a couple of months. No clue where exactly, other than the next city over where my daughter currently goes to school. I'm also picky about schools. I think my kid should graduate from high school actually knowing how to read and do more math than adding and subtracting using her fingers. However, that's another story. But, in the process of this pre-de-clutter conversation that I had with my mom, she suggested that I get rid of books.  No. That is so not happening. I like my books right where they are. I re-read them.

I don't crack the spine. I don't buy new books from a bookstore that aren't in perfect or near condition. I don't lend them out (any more - the last ones never made it back home and the one before that came back without a cover). I don't write in them. Ever. Except I do. In school books all the time. Because, they're textbooks and not stories. I'm learning from them, so the same rules do not apply. Now, they do apply when I'm reading a book on mythology or comparative religion or some ancient civilization that people never talk about.

They also don't apply to writing craft books. I am in the middle of reading three books right now - The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell,  The Writer's Journey by Christopher Vogler, and The Writer's Little Helper by James V. Smith. All in paperback, because I like holding a book and now that my daughter has discovered e-books and other assorted electronic devices, I usually can't find mine. I know that whatever missing electronic is probably in her room. I yell for her to bring it back. She does. Hours later. Physical books work (also less chance of electrocution if it's dropped in the tub). But in those books I have notes like: Need to check this out. Like this. Seriously? or yeah, that doesn't work for me. But I underline a lot of passages that I find interesting at the time.

From The Writer's Journey, which is the one that currently lives in my purse/bag and goes every where with me, I have a list of books I need to get. I'm curious to see how those books, more on psychology and mythology then on writing and story telling, will differ. But, from the beginning, whether I agree or disagree with something an author has said, I get something out of it. Even it you totally disagree with the author on a personal level, depending on the subject, there could still be something of value to learn.

I love exploring older book stores, but the same thing happens as when I'm in a fabric or cross stitch store - there is never enough money to buy everything I want. I love older books. Those I don't mind if they're a little worn, it means someone loved them before I got them. They have character.

I love reading. Even at my day job, I usually have a book with me to read during breaks and lunch. Sometimes it's a craft book, but some times it's just one for fun. 

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