11 September 2008
I like books. mostly I like reading them. Although lately I've been ordering from Amazon.co.uk at such a torrid pace that it may take me months to get on top of it all. And then the trip to Waterstone's downtown last Saturday... "Happy shopping Chiara...I'll just be here, um browsing."
It's hard to resist: the real world filtered and explained through the written word. Typography? Home repair? Japanese tattoos? (to use but three recent examples) I don't know anything about these things... BAM! A book arrives. An instructive, shiny book. With pictures. (In fact, I just ordered another book on typography, as I write this. Why? I'm hooked.)
Fiction? Fuck yeah! The Yiddish Policeman's Union, by Michael Chabon. You write good.
Non fiction? Uh huh! Shakespeare, by Bill Bryson. Best teacher ever.
Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs, by Chuck Klosterman? Our time has come.
Graphic Novels? Hit me up! Bone v. 7 Ghost Circles, by Jeff Smith Why yes! I'd love a sweeping epic myth narrative with an extra-big scoop of laugh-out-loud funny.
Watchmen, by Moore and Gibsons. I'm sorry Evil Bastard, I should've listened to you years ago.
I've also got books borrowed, and gifted, all to be digested and absorbed in their time.
While in the bookstore on Saturday, I was struck by how many books there are. (A-fucking-lot!) How many stories, how many authors, how many jacket designs, how many different typesets, publishers, sizes, editions...
It blew my fucking mind apart. Especially for me, in these days. I'm beginning to self-describe as a 'writer', and gradually removing the implied air-quotes and apologetic tone as I do so. A book collection of any size represents both a world of opportunity and aspiration, and a wall of futility.
Books are creativity, they are worlds, they are also moments, words, stories and images. Books are art.
No. Seriously. Forget about the words for a minute.
Books themselves as art. Many artists, many different styles and results, all with the same medium: books. There's a metaphor, or other such literary device in there somewhere... Thanks Weburbanist.
You! reader check them out.