Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Election Day

It's Election Day!

So why are you reading a blog? Go Vote! (This exempts Starman, who's not yet eligible for citizenship and thus can't vote; Hub 1.0, who is eligible but won't take citizenship thus won't vote; Debbie, simply because I doubt it's election day in Canada, and anyone who's reading this after already voting.)

Okay, while they're all off voting, here's a story for Sharyn, my #1 fan. (Really -- my shopping list? I don't even read it half the time! I am truly humbled.)

When we moved here I culled through my collection of paperback romance novels and collected duplicates and no-longer-wanted volumes for Starman to hawk on Amazon Marketplace, where you sell the book for a penny but make a couple bucks in excess postage and handling. But, as that's not the sort of job you leap into while you're also juggling moving, immigration, learning bridge, and just getting acclimated to American sports and culture, the collection of extra books remained in his office.

When the Quest Center -- hippie new age place where Starman goes for yoga -- had a jumble sale, he donated some of the books. That was fine by me; anywhere other than in my office was fine by me! When he came back from yoga that week, he said that one woman there had bought all the books we'd donated. She teaches kung fu at the Center, he explained.

That was a couple months ago. Last Saturday we were at Mamacita's, the local Mexican restaurant, and we ran into this woman and her husband. She said she'd really enjoyed the books. "I read them [romances] all the time," she gushed.

"Oh, how nice. Who are your favorite authors?" I asked.

She gave me a stunned look. Favorite authors? What would such creatures look like?

Finally she gave a rueful laugh. "They're really all the same to me..." and went on to explain that she's more of a sci-fi/fantasy fan. "You know, Tolkien, etc." So the romances she just reads and passes along. She seemed amazed I have books I don't get rid of.

Now, Sharyn -- you and I know better. I read across genres, but I have favorite authors in every genre and if I didn't, I wouldn't read that genre. And who doesn't keep some favorites on the shelves for that dark, dark day when you just have to re-re-read some particular favorite? And how can you read contemporaries, historicals, Regencies, good authors, crappy authors, and just so-so authors and say, "They're all the same"?

I think she's a pod person.


  1. I have a hard time believing that someone could read *anything* "all the time" and not have favorite authors.

    An unhappy report...remember all those thousands of books in my PA house? Well, I moved some -- a very few -- to Florida, gave some away -- perhaps 10%, although believe me I tried to give more away, got a thrift store to come through and take about 70% of what was left (he didn't pay me for them, but promised to find them a good home), and the rest went with 1-800-GOT-JUNK to the dump. I hated it, but just didn't have room to house that many books in this house.

    After cleaning out the 25+ years of accumulated *stuff* in that house, I am a changed person...will no longer keep anything that smacks of clutter. And, nothing goes in the attic, ever! I tossed stuff out of that PA attic that I hadn't seen in 20 years. (Although I did find David's baby book that had been missing since we moved in...)

    P.S. I don't think today is election day here...haven't heard anything about it or seen any political signage.

  2. Starman says he thinks you are very mature in your thinking. We're both firmly middle-aged, but we retain that childlike quality of wanting all our stuff around all the time. I *could* cull my collection further. (Lessee -- am I really going to read every last Jane Feather/Joan Wolf/Betty Neels again? Nah.) But how do I know which ones I really wouldn't read vs. the ones I'm someday going to have an insatiable urge to devour again? I mean, c'mon -- I'm going to read Susan Elizabeth Phillips' entire football series every few years, right? (I thought of her because she reminds me of your grace and your sense of humor.)

    In an unrelated vein, I think of you every time I see an Elizabeth Peters mystery. I think you found her because I recommended Eliz. George and you forgot the surname and picked one of Eliz. Peters' Eqyptologist books.

    Who are you reading now? Coffee Jones and I have both slurped up the Lee Child "Jack Reacher" thrillers, so I'm going to loan her my Thomas Perry "Jane Whitefield" books. I totally fell in love with Laurie R. King's "Mary Russell" mysteries (romance & mystery in every volume!). I'm not crazy about the new set of historical novelists (would they stop with the overuse of "bloody" -- it was the "f**k" of its time; heck, it was still mildly taboo in 1971 when I first went over there!) but Eloise James is okay. (She is the Fordham literature professor who had to "come out" to her colleagues, but has ended up laughing all the way to the bank.) I was relieved by the end of Julie whasername's Bridgerton series that there were only eight of the wretched things, but I'll concede they were readable.

    So, if you don't do clutter anymore, what do you do about books? I buy a lot less, and make huge use of the library system here. Still, we've got a lot of bookshelves...

  3. Thanks for the compliment! ::blush:: SEP is an auto-buy for me, even in hardcover. (The latest one was very good.) But I don't keep much of anything anymore. (Gabaldon is the exception to that...and even then I only kept OUTLANDER and the COMPANION.)

    I only have one wall of bookcases in this house, in the greatroom, and no place to put more. (Except the attic, and see previous comment.::grin::) So only books that fit on that wall can stay.

    Yes, that's how I found Elizabeth Peters! And, BTW, isn't she about due for a new one??

    You're absolutely right about the Bridgerton series...the first ones were very good, but the later ones were a chore to get through.

    Right this very second I'm reading a fantasy by C. L. Wilson (LORD OF THE FADING LANDS) which my mom lent me. It's okay, but either not wonderful or I'm just not in the mood for fantasy right now. Mom loved it, though. And Christine Feehan has a quote on the front cover, "The best book I've read in years." I feel sorry for her then.

    I've become an avid Nora fan, after years of being able to take or leave her books. Either she's improved immensely (although she was always good) or I've changed. She's now an auto-buy for me, even in hardcover, and especially her J. D. Robb books...new one coming out tomorrow, IIRC.

    I enjoy Evanovich's number books...mostly just Ranger, though.::grin:: Ranger is worth the price of hardcover, IMO.

    I still do buy lots of books, but don't keep them. I either pass them on to my mom or donate them to the local branch of the library. They're always happy to have them. (And you're right that I should utilize the library more often...my local branch is about a 1/2 mile away and I can reserve books over the internet. No reason at all not to borrow more books instead of buying them...even though both Borders and Barnes & Noble are only another 1/2 mile further on.)

    Susan Wiggs, Barbara Samuel, Jo Beverley, Jill Barnett (although she hasn't had a book out in much too long), Lynn Kurland, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Madeline Hunter, Lori Handeland, Jennifer Crusie...Clive Cussler (although I'm bummed at the direction the Dirk Pitt books have taken), Stephen King (of course!). I still read primarily romance...am always looking for that happy ending.::grin::