Wednesday, December 12, 2007


When I discovered online bookstores like I was in heaven. Millions of books and all I had to do was sit at my computer and read and choose and buy, that is until I discovered the wish list and other online bookstores. I have dozens bookmarked and visit them regularly, some even send me emails about what's new and exciting and I am always hooked like a greedy catfish biting down on a chewy, misshapen dough ball hiding a double barbed hook.

The wish list is a safe way to save links to all the books I want; mine runs to several pages. I used to store them in the cart for later, but that list was getting too long and I can't search for just books or DVDs or whatever else I have put aside. You can't do that at the bookstore because they frown on you making piles of books and leaving them without paying. I would rather pay for them but that depends on my budget, especially nowadays since I became interested in buying actual food and cooking utensils to fill my empty cupboards. I figured that since I'll soon celebrate my third anniversary in this apartment -- a prodigious feat in itself -- I should begin filling the cabinets and freezer with something other than frozen dinners, which requires that I buy pots and pans and spatulas and all kinds of things to cook and serve the food. The wish list is no essential because it gives me a feeling of having access to the books I want to buy without feeling deprived and cutting into the food budget.

And now I'm going to have to fit bookcases into the budget somewhere since I can't leave all the books I now own in stacks on the floor or in boxes in the living room, bedroom and closets. I don't have that much closet space and it's time I established more than a squatting presence here now that the two-year curse has been lifted. In the past, books were more portable and didn't spoil as quickly as food and pots and pans and cooking utensils just seem sad without food and they have to be washed to be reused. Dried and fly-specked pots and dishes tend to smell up the trunk and draw vermin, not to mention how looking at them turns my stomach into a rumbling cement truck mixing gravel, sand and water just before it spits the brownish-gray slurry onto the ground. People tend to frown on dumping slurry on their shoes or all over their nice clean roads without a permit.

Nothing is more soothing or satisfying than spending hours perusing the descriptions and reviews of books that may or may not make it to the wish list and eventually to the shopping cart before they land on my front porch and all over my floors in serried ranks along the walls so they don't impede walking in the middle of the night when the lights are out. I would probably get more chores done if the books didn't call to me from their shelves and floor spaces to pick them up and dive into their pages for an hour or eight, but nothing and no one has been more faithful and more helpful than my books when I'm sad or depressed or just need to escape for a few hours at the end of a particularly grueling week of work. And they do like company. Nothing is sadder than a lone book on a shelf surrounding by knick knacks or pictures whose pages and spine are so stiff I'm sure they've never been handled, caressed and opened even once, not since they were exiled and left to stand alone and unloved simply because they looked good on the shelf and made people think the owner had taste. Sometimes a dish looks good but it tastes like cardboard sludge. Looks aren't everything and nothing is sadder than a brand new book without a little wear and tear up and down its edges or a crease or two along the spine to show it has been, like the velveteen rabbit, loved.

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