Books, books and more books…

One would think that after my post-Christmas book buying frenzy, my appetite for books would have been satiated.  But no.  A couple of weeks ago S needed to go to Barnes & Noble for her classroom reading materials and since we go everywhere together, I went with her.  I would like to state for the record that S is painfully fully aware of my book buying/reading addiction.  Why she still lets me go into bookstores is beyond me.  If I were addicted to crack, would she give me a map of the local crack houses and a fifty dollar bill?  Maybe.

At first I just picked up a couple of hard cover classics (The Art of War and The Idiot) on the Five Dollar rack.  Every decent book collection requires the classics, right?  But then S mentioned that she wanted to read Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon, because she loves the movie and hadn’t actually ever read any Chabon.  Since I loved The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, also by Chabon, I figured we should get the book she wanted, rationalizing that it would be for both of us and somehow less indulgent on my part.  It should have stopped there, but since I was in the fiction section anyway, I thought I should see what their Tom Wolfe selection looked like.  We both enjoyed I Am Charlotte Simmons and we wanted more.  So I picked up The Bonfire of the Vanities.  Again, the justification was that it would be for both of us.  But then I picked up a book I had really, really been wanting to read, Mark Levin’s Men In Black: How The Supreme Court Is Destroying America

Yes, it is true that there are always books that I “really, really” want to read.  It’s the step below the books that I “really need” to read.  Which is a step below the books that I “really must have if I want to call myself well read“.  Which is a step below the books that I “really must read if I want to call myself an American“.  But, I often buy books with the justification of “oh yeah, I’ve wanted to read that“, which is the lowest rung on my book justification ladder.

After the Barnes & Noble trip I had a huge stack of books to read when combined with my post-Christmas books (of which I have gotten through half).  Again, you think I would be satisfied.  But no.  I cannot be stopped.  At the end of December I had pre-ordered an autographed copy of a new book by my favorite political writer, Jonah Goldberg.  Yes, I am talking about Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning.  Autographed!  To Me from Him!  It’s akin to the feeling that young girls used to get when Paul McCartney looked their way from the stage during a Beatles concert.  Giddy like a school girl, I am.  And, though I shouldn’t have expected otherwise, the book is great.  It is my bedside table reading material.  I am keeping Men In Black in the car. 

And by now one might ask whether or not it would be wise for S to block the Amazonwebsite from our computer.  She has not.  Not yet anyway.  Though I am sure she is now considering it.  But again, I am an addict and Amazon sent me an         e-mail about a new membership that gives free next day shipping.  I was not able to summon the strength needed to resist the crack.  Can I really call myself an American if I don’t have a copy of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense?  Certainly not.    Could a decent presidential book collection be complete without American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson by Joesph J. EllisBy God, no.  Am I really well read if I haven’t read Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid TestProbably, but I bought it anyway.  And then there was Crunchy Cons: The New Conservative Counterculture and Its Return to Roots by Rod Dreher, which I have been really, really wanting to read.

There really should be some sort of 12 Step program for people like me.  But you know I would just turn it into a book club.

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One Response

  1. […] The exchanges between Dreher and Jonah Goldbergtotally sucked me in.  And it wasn’t long before Dreher turned his thesis into a full article for the print editionof National Review.  I thought it was a great article and was happy when I read that Dreher was turning the Crunchy Con idea into a book.  Of course, I had to wait for it to go into its paperback edition.  And in the course of waiting I forgot what I was waiting for.  Luckily I remembered what I wanted to read when I happened upon Crunchy Cons during one of my February book buying benders. […]

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