Monday, August 31, 2009

Books!

All right, I'll admit it: I'm addicted to reading. Fiction, nonfiction, fluff or hardcore intellectual stimulation, at some point I will read it. About the only things to which I won't subject my poor brain are romances and westerns.

To illustrate my point, recently I have read (am reading) Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series, various magazines ranging from Popular Mechanics to Cabella's catalog, Dean Koontz' Odd Thomas series, the His Dark Materials series, an anthology of Romantic poetry that I can't lay my hands on at the moment, various and sundry metaphysical books and Ambrose Bierce's Devil's Dictionary.

That's just in the past couple of weeks.

The written word is mankind's greatest achievement. Civilization started there. Not with fire, not with the creation of a social structure, but with the ability to make our thoughts outlive us. Every so often, I have to just sit back in awe at the genius involved in that concept.

There, that takes care of the big, important thoughts. Now on to the whining and complaining.

The Sword of Truth. Good fantasy, but Goodkind is in love with capitalism. Seriously. One of these days, I'll be bored enough to count the number of pages which he devotes to denouncing socialism and be shocked at how much of it I waded through.

Odd Thomas. This is about as close as I come to reading sentimental trash. Only because there's some really clever dialogue and occasionally a good idea or two.

His Dark Materials. These are supposed to be kids' books. I can imagine me reading them as a kid, but I just can't see your average kid reading them. My friends have a nine year old daughter, and I can just picture how bored and frustrated it would make her to wade through the antique language. Still, well written and good stories...worth the price of admission.

The poetry. This is a whole other discussion which will no doubt come up later at some point. In my opinion, the Romantics (Romantic movement, not genre. Keats, Blake, Shelley and so on. Not romantic as in insipid, uninspired valentine's day card stuff) did it best, so they're the ones I read when I'm in the mood for good poetry.

The metaphysical books. If you don't stretch regularly, you lose flexibility. This is true for both body and mind. I recommend the Tao of Pooh, the Principia Discordia, the Devils of Loudon (sp?), and anything by Lovecraft.

The Devil's Dictionary. The. Best. Bierce's style is a little dry for my taste sometimes, but he's still funny as hell. Like an evil Mark Twain.

The only problem with loving to read is finding shelf-space for all the books that seem to accumulate. If you know what I mean, then it'll be familiar. You try to use the library, to borrow from friends, but some books you just have to own and they just take up more and more space.
Still, I take comfort in the fact that my problem is nothing compared to my parents' or my late grandmother's. The walls in their houses are pretty much invisible due to all the books blocking the view. So far, mine would only fill a couple of shelves.

4 comments:

Lady Midnight said...

so many books, so little time! i've started a collection of books i know i'll want to read and own someday, but haven't quite gotten around to reading most of them yet. i don't have the tao of pooh, but i have the philosophy of pooh (about how all the great philosophers and philosophical concepts are included in that cuddly ol' bear). have also started a collection of histories of...:history of the world, history of science, history of intimacy. think i'll be going for a while yet!

Cara Powers said...

I am a total bookworm. In fact, I think reading is my biggest talent. I read fast and with comprehension. Now if I could only figure out a way to make money doing that. I have a book blog that I'm trying to make eclectic, although my go to books are usually fantasy or sci-fi. The blog is called Ooh . . . Books!

http://oohbooks.blogspot.com

Morthax said...

@ Lady Midnight: The Tao of Pooh is great. As good if not better than the Philosophy of Pooh. Pity it got left behind in a move along with a large chunk of the books I used to have. Never was much of a history buff. I can watch it on TV, but reading it is just a cure for insomnia for me.

@ Cara Powers: Nice blog. I used to read sci-fi and fantasy almost exclusively, but I ran out of good stories faster than I could afford to buy more. Now I'm looking for books that are a little more dense than is normal for genre stuff. Things that I can read a hundred times and still find new insights about. Ugh, I'm turning into one of those people that reads Literature for enjoyment... I'll be wearing tweed and smoking a pipe next...

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