Through the Book Stacks

At the library today. I came to drop off a book (one that I really want to read but have no time and should stop trying to tell myself otherwise) but ended up wandering around through the stacks and eventually settled at a table. I had to scuttle over three seats to find a place where the overhead lights didn’t wash out my iPad screen.

What is it about places other than your own office that end up being more comfortable? If I wasn’t theft and if I thought it was in any way practical, I would take one of these chairs home with me. It’s like they were molded precisely for my well-proportioned butt. Of course, they are wood, and as such solid and comforting and old fashioned, as most places only offer the comfort of plastic. A wood chair feels like it’s a part of history, that it should be sat in seriously and pondered on. Work will be done, the sculpted seat tells you, so pay attention and get started.

Since I’m at the library … On to books!

I finished reading “Thanks, But This Isn’t For Us” by Jessica Page Morrell this morning. At first I thought it was going to be one of those angry, stalker-ish love letters to would-be writers with a long list of do-nots. It had that, sure, but delivered with as much love as with sarcastic zeal. And the further I got into it, the more it felt like a mentor talking to me one-on-one, someone who understood the process, warned me of the pitfalls ahead and then armed me with the sharpest machete she had to give. It’s going on the Awesome Shelf ™ to be referred to in times of creative stress and despair.

I’m reading “Dogs” by Nancy Kress. Just started. I picked it up last year at World Con and I’m only getting to it now. It’s been a huge relief to so severely cut back my to-read pile to purchased new books instead of the horde I’d accumulated from the local used book store. I’m actually making some headway.

I still don’t want to buy anymore new books as paper books if it can be helped. Fiction especially. But I’m having hard time finding all books across all iPad applications and it is irksome to have to use three separate applications. Ideally, I want to use one. iBooks, while at least officially open, is still missing far too many titles and authors; I understand that this is based on publishing houses, which are still negotiating for Canadian rights to distribute their titles through the new ebook seller. But even the Kobo and Kindle apps come up with the same limitations and I can’t rationalize a reason why. Some titles are available in one and not the other and prices can vary quite a bit. Kobo seems to consistently be offering their titles at a lower cost than Amazon, but at the same time the Kobo app doesn’t have the same utility as the Kindle app, with respect to highlighting and notes and such. Ah, imperfect solutions, all of them.

Speaking of highlighting and notes, I took a pencil to much of Morrell’s book while reading it, an anathema to me for, oh, twenty years? You just didn’t WRITE in books. That was just wrong. NOT DONE. Books must be kept in PRISTINE condition, else you’ve failed as a book owner. I wouldn’t dog-ear pages, wouldn’t highlight passages or add any of my own scribblings. Okay, university textbooks got a pass on that, but the rest? Never!

Picture me in a sweeping taffeta dress, hair straggling down from a southern belle’s up-do, clutching not a turnip but a paperback, screaming, “As God as my witness…” and you’ll have the idea.

I’m sort of over it now, and Morrell’s book got the full force of my underlining, squiggly paragraph bracketing, starring and even, in one place, a little heart.

Now I’m starting to sound stalker-ish.

I think I’m done here for the day. Heading back out for some proper, aimless about-town meandering. And later, back to the draft.


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