The Life Of The Book

How often do you re-read books? I've done it three times in my life, maximum: Catch-22, The Hitch-Hikers Guide and... Mr. Tickle?

Already-read books have little to look forward to in my house. The good ones go on a shelf and give me happy memories when I catch them out of the corner of my eye. They make me look clever (but not so clever as I really am) and foster those moments at parties when two people that detest each other suddenly discover they have the same favourite author or both their sweater patterns come from the same beastly tome. I'd lend more to friends if reading weren't so terribly out of vogue these days. Unless they contain meticulously-indexed factoids or "tasteful nudity", old books mostly just sit there. It's a waste.

Then along comes one of those rare useful marriages between technology and the real world giving your books a new lease of life and giving you the facility to stay in touch with them - for free! As soon as I get 90% of my worldly belongings out of that garage in California, it's the first thing I'm gonna do.


Blogger Candace said...

Kewl! I have yet to try that. I actually read my books over and over. Mr. Tickle lost his cover long ago. The joy about having kids is that you get to re-read your old faves. And then you start to hate your old faves after about the first 100 times. Of course, he was used when I bought him, so that doesn't help. My first copy of Atlas Shrugged actually fell apart from being read too many times. My H2G2 is about to suffer the same fate, so I have to switch to alternate version since that's the one DA signed for me.

My sister says your comment box says "comments" instead of joyous proclamations. I'm talking to her on my computer (mic - Gmail - free - very cool!) and she swears it. Why would that be?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I ever found a book with no owner I would feel so sorry for it!

I've had to re-read books for classes and such--Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Great Gatsby, A Clockwork Orange, The Day of the Locust, Wide Sargasso Sea are the ones I can think of. You're right, though--most of mine just give me memories, and I ought to give them up!

Blogger Candace said...

Sorry that was so dicombobulated. I was rushing off. Kitkat reminded me that I re-read some books *after* school to see what I thought when they weren't required. Catcher in the Rye was still shit, but To Kill a Mockingbird was even better once I was older. As for the ones in my house, I only keep the ones I want to read over and over so I do. :oP

They do a tracking thing like that with dollar bills here, too. It's called Where's George?

Anonymous Shig said...

I do this occasionally, as I think I've told you, Marcus--but I didn't realise I was at the cutting edge of some crazy internet-driven phenomenon. Good for me. However, although I'm not a material person generally, I do love and horde books. And I reread them. Perhaps I could do with pruning my shelves a litle (how much does BEASTLY KNITS fetch on eBay?), but until the e-book is a reality, the population of my shelves is going to keep growing.

Blogger TheGirard said...

who reads? i mean c'mon

Anonymous sarah said...

I read...and I work in a bookstore...and I teach English...I am Book Whore.

Blogger thisismarcus said...

Girard: can you get books as items in World Of Warcraft? I'm genuinely interested to know.

Shig: yeah, you definitely turned me on to this idea. There could be other sites - BookCrossing was just the first good one I found. You own Beastly Knits?!?!

Blogger TheGirard said...

you can and it goes one step further.

In some of the instances (areas where there are higher level creatures that you have to kill for quests) there are libraries, studies etc. There are books strewn about that you can click on and it gives about a 5-8 page history about whatever the title of the book is.

These have no "gameplay advantage" whatsoever, they are merely there for fluff. I'm sure some people stop and read them and appreciate the history that blizzard put into them.

Me on the other hand, bleh. You don't need them to complete the quest/get a level/get phat lewts, well then I'm not stopping to read the fluff.

Blogger The Paranoid Mod said...

"Out of vogue?" How dare you... Having reread the Lord of the Rings about 15 times and plenty of other ones multiple times too, I resent that. But hey, each to their own.

About to start DeLillo's Underworld for the 5th time...



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