Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Books! Check 'Em Out!

I was going to do a post on a bunch of random items, but then I started going into way too much detail on this one point so now it's becoming its own post. You're welcome!

There are a couple of stores that I just love walking into. Home Depot has become a favorite of mine ever since I did the home remodeling stuff. Electronics stores are always fun too. But I think my favorite might be just a plain old bookstore. Not used bookstores, because that's like a thousand different house smells combined into one and they just have a weird stench, but places like Barnes & Noble and Borders. I guess you can smell the coffee, and I do enjoy that smell, but I love the smell of all that paper. I love walking the aisles and picking out books that I might spend hours with over the ensuing few weeks.

When I'm deciding what to read I'll usually read the summary, then the first page, and if I'm still interested in reading after that point then I'll usually buy the book. With one girl I dated, we used to go to bookstores all the time. She was my favorite to go with because I knew she was just as interested in finding her own stuff as I was so I was free to wander, and then we'd find books that we could read together also. She loved being read to, and I loved reading to her. We did a lot of fun things together, but that time with her was probably one of my favorites.

What's funny is that even as a kid I loved going to bookstores as much as any place else. There is a children's bookstore by my mom's shop and that was always the first place I would run to when I went with her to work. Whenever other people tell me about the books they loved as kids I never have any idea what books they are talking about. I think that has everything to do with the fact that I was the one picking out my reading, and you want to know what I picked out? Ghost stories and mythology. Weird, right? But I couldn't get enough of scary stories or stories that featured some kind of mythical hero. That is probably why I transitioned so easily into comic books.

My appreciation for reading came entirely from my brother because I have never seen my parents reading a book in my entire life. Not once. Not ever. You have to remember also that neither of my parent's even graduated high school, I'm pretty sure. When we shared a bedroom, I would ask my brother to tell me stories and then he would tell me about whatever it was that he was reading and I loved it.

If there are three things I hope to instill in my children, they would be a love for the gospel, physical activity, and reading. Recently, I've been asking seasoned parents how they get their kids to love reading, and I think it just boils down to reading with them, and also doing it yourself. Kids are naturally loving, and they will gravitate to those things that their loved ones enjoy most.

Over the summer I read:
  • Lone Survivor
  • A collection of short stories by Elmore Leonard
  • The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard
  • To Kill A Mockingbird
  • Who Really Cares by Arthur Brooks (with its own post to follow)
  • I Love Yous Are For White People
  • 3 Weeks With My Brother
  • The Green Mile
And just yesterday I finished up reading The Shining and Lectures On Faith. Quite a contrast, huh? I'm in love with Stephen King. Yeah, he's the master of horror, whatever, but he doesn't get enough credit for just how good his writing actually is. It's a talent to be able to write things that paint vistas and capture perfectly the essence of people, but it's also an incredible skill to write things that can make your warm blood turn cold. And it's not just through graphic horror either. I would also add that the movies based on his books seem to be more graphic than what he writes. At least from what I've read of his so far.

How about a quick excerpt:
Danny turned and ran. Bolting through the bathroom door, his eyes starting from their sockets, his hair on end like the hair of a hedgehog about to be turned into a sacrificial ball, his mouth open and soundless. He ran full tilt into the outside door of 217, which was now closed. He began hammering on it, far beyond realizing that it was unlocked, and he had only to turn the knob to let himself out. His mouth pealed forth deafening screams that were beyond the human auditory range. He could only hammer on the door and hear the dead woman coming for him, bloated belly, dry hair, outstretched hands - something that had been slain in that tub for perhaps years, embalmed there in magic.

The door would not open, would not, would not, would not.

And then the voice of Dick Halloran came to him, so sudden and unexpected, so calm, that his locked vocal cords opened and he began to cry weakly - not with fear but with blessed relief.

(I don't think they can hurt you...they're like pictures in a book...close your eyes and they'll be gone.)

His eyelids snapped down. His hands curled into balls. His shoulders hunched with the effort of his concentration.

(Nothing there nothing there not there at all NOTHING THERE THERE IS NOTHING!)

Time passed. And he was just beginning to relax, just beginning to realize that the door must be unlocked and he could go, when the years-damp, bloated, fish-smelling hands closed softly around his throat and he was turned implacably around to stare into that dead and purple face.
Scary as hell, right?

With all of that said, you just can't beat how great it is to buy stuff off of Amazon and how cheap it ends up being. I bought two books this morning for the cover price of one of the books, including shipping for both from different sellers. I love capitalism. This morning I bought a biography on Chief Justice Roberts and also What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. The more I read about Roberts, the more enamored with him I become. The second book is by a Japanese author and it's some memoirs of his that I happened upon in one bookstore excursion.

This post is a smattering of thoughts so I'm not really sure how to end it, but I'm pretty sure it needs to be literary so here goes...

This poem always makes me laugh when I read it because I know it's written in a different time, and is meant to be fawning over the exquisite beauty of the female form, but when I read it now it just seems so typical guy to me:
My love in her attire doth show her wit,
It doth so well become her;
For every season she hath dressings fit,
For winter, spring, and summer.
No beauty doth she miss,
When all her robes are on:
But Beauty's self she is,
When all her robes are gone.
Isn't that funny? It's basically this: My girl is really witty, which is awesome, and she dresses really cute, but nothing beats seeing her goodies.

This doesn't feel like a post that will generate any comments, but it would be nice to hear what you've been reading lately. In any case, I'll see y'all later, dearhearts!


Shelli said...

I love bookstores. I'm not allowed to go in them unless I have a couple hours to kill.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Simply the best book I've read in quite sometime.

Moomby said...

I'm reading Doc Holliday's biography...and chic lit (I know, I should be embarrassed).

I love how you described the smell of used bookstores. you're right on