Monday, November 10, 2014

Bother, why

I'm not sick of books, but if books were a disease I'd be "cancer-ridden" by them. I own as many as some small libraries in some small towns, I'm sure. I also own more by particular authors than the library system for whom I'm employed. And it's huge! 17 branches! And I own more books by, say, Harlan Ellison than the library system collectively! Crazy, no?

I'm a biblioholic which is a cute but insensitive way of saying that I own too many books and, though I know that I do, continue to buy more regardless. My wife doesn't like it, but only gets upset with me when the books are in visible piles around the house. If the books are in piles near my side of the bed or in the storage room or our office, then that's okay.

And before you ask--whoever YOU are--I fully intend to read every book that I own, (and you know what they say about intentions, but that's namely good ones which intending to read a book can only be thought of as "good" can't it? So, my path to Hades is paved with the pages and covers of countless unread tomes and paperbacks, etc), but every now and then I look at some books and think: "I'm never going to read you!" Then off to the used book store it goes to be traded in for credit with which to buy, wait for it, more books!

And here's the absurd part: months, sometimes years, later, I'll buy the SAME BOOKS I TRADED IN! Why, because, as I realized recently with the death of Thomas Berger, I actually wanted to read those books and in my way of thinking, which is as absurd--I had accidentally wrote 'abused' before I wrote absurd, Freudian!--as absurd as this whole blog thing has been thus far, that now that Berger is dead his books may be harder to find. Not that they were that easy to find to begin with, but in death your value increases at first, so...ah, who cares? DO YOU? Of course not!

The really absurd part is that I work for a library and therefore should not have to want for books, except that--as I mentioned above--I OWN more of certain authors than my library system does AND of those I DON'T own the library has a paucity. Meaning that if I wanted to read a particular book by a particular author then I would have to find it elsewhere--and at this point I'll praise my library system's InterLibrary Loan department for the stellar work they do in the acquisition of those books my library system doesn't own and I can't afford to buy--either through ILL or Amazon or Abebooks or Alibris or a used dealer.

And that ain't always easy.

Well, I've run out of steam. And I think I need to edit this. And my lunch break is almost over. And why do I even bother?

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