Books, Thoughts

Book Dork: Confession & Penance

First off, I would like to go on record as saying I tried.  I had every intention of keeping to my no new books resolution.  Even when I accidentally purchased a book within a few months of making my promise.  But, my will is weak so here’s my confession–I’ve bought books.  Gasp!

So, I recently got back from a trip to Boston, as you may have read in the last few posts.  There are some really great book stores in the area, so, given that the vacation was my treat to myself for working 3 months of mandated overtime, I gave myself permission to splurge.  I had to, really, because who could have resisted the four floors of the Harvard COOP?  All told, I bought 5 books on the trip.

Second floor of the Harvard COOP
  • Chronicler of the Winds by Henning Mankell  (Bought at the Harvard Book Shop, translated by my favorite translator Tiina Nunnally.)
  • The Reality Shows by Karen Finley (Bought at the COOP, because it’s Karen-freakin’-Finley & because it’s getting hard to find non-bestseller or book club picks back home.)
  • Dorothy Sayers’ translation of Dante’s Inferno (Which used to be the easiest thing to find, but suddenly became very scarce.  Also from the COOP.)
  • The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz and Solomon Gursky Was Here by Mordecai Richler (Found these at the claustrophobic Derby Square Books in Salem.  These were for my husband, to go with the DVD of Barney’s Version he got for our anniversary, so they don’t count.)

I was pretty damn proud of myself for getting out of Boston with only three new books to my name.  I mean, it’s typical for me to finish a vacation with at least six, maybe a few more.  So, imagine how hard it was for me to go to Barnes & Noble with my husband tonight & confine myself to the DVDs.  I had a gift certificate that I had gotten for my birthday & had asked friends for their advice on a nice pricey purchase, specifically Criterion.  (Aside: The Killing on Criterion in August!!!)

As we were leaving the store with my nice new Herzog/Kinski box, Kurt says, “Are you sure you don’t want to look at the books?  Hmmmm?”  I said, “No, I’m home now.  No more book buying.”  “No Jim Thompsons, hmmm?” he said as he steered me over to the genre section.

Wouldn’t you know it, as we walked through sci-fi/fantasy, the last Janny Wurts novel was sitting on the shelf, all fat & wordy & beautiful?  The one & only fantasy series I allow myself now (because each book is a minimum of 400 pages), the one where there is a new book every three years & the printing run is so miniscule you can never find a copy anywhere?!

Yes, I caved.

The good news is that I have a new 600 page novel waiting for me.  (I’m sure other people would say, ‘That’s the good news?’)  The bad news is that I feel I have to work to earn it.  So, for the next six days, I’m going to focus on finishing a bunch of writing that is waiting for me before I start reading anything new.  So instead of just being a passive bookslug, I’ll even the karmic balance by creating a few things as well.  Let’s see how well I keep this goal.