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September 10, 2009


I’ve always loved books.  I can remember as a kid in the 1st grade, desperately wanting to learn to read.  And once I got the hang of it, I couldn’t get enough.  I remember one day the school library was weeding it’s collection, and each student was required to take at least one book home.  I was practically quivering at the prospect.  Don't worry, I don't quiver anymore, kinda grew out of that.  Being rather shy, I let everyone else get in line before me, and each kid reluctantly, painfully, took their requisite “one” book; the librarian had to practically force it on them. When it was finally my turn, there was still a large stack of books left.  The librarian told me I could take as many as I wanted.  I greedily grabbed the entire stack.  Must’ve been 20 or 30 books.


I had a heck of a time getting home with them.  I can still remember walking from the road, where the bus dropped me off, to our house.  Every step I took, books were dropping all over the place.  It was only about 500 feet, but it took me forever to get to the front door.  And when I finally get there, my arms aching, not even able to open the door, how does my mom greet me?  “Did you steal those books?”  I think she even called the school, to make sure my story was legit.  But after supper that day, I went into my bedroom, and started reading them like a addict hungrily satisfying his fix.


My idea of the perfect room is one filled with books; my own private library.  It would have floor to ceiling bookcases, with one of those ladders you could roll around to get to the top shelves.  It would have a really comfortable chair, one of those luxurious hand-crafted leather library chairs that fits you just right.  It would also need to have a well stocked humidor full of Cuban cigars, and a bar stocked with very old Scotch and single-barrel Bourbons.  Ah yes, I can just see myself now:  lounging back with a glass full of Booker’s Bourbon on the side table, puffing away on a Cohiba Esplendido, and enjoying the first volume of Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.  Kate Beckinsale is in there as well in that tight-fitting leather outfit she wore in Underworld, sprawled out on my bearskin rug, doing some very naughty things with my cigars…hey Kate, cut it out!  Those cigars cost me a fortune! 


I recently set myself the task of reading all the books I have in my collection.  I started to say library, but 310 books don’t really qualify as a library.  I’m not sure what the threshold is, maybe 500?.  I know I have 310 books because of librarything.com where I’ve cataloged all of my books online.  Check it out, it's pretty cool.  So now I’ve got the actual books in my office, and a virtual duplicate representation of them on the internet.  Actually, it’s not an exact duplicate.  I didn’t bother adding all of the Harry Potter books, and various other guilty reading pleasures.  Do I really want anyone to know I’ve read them?  Okay, yes, now you know, but I’m still not adding them to librarything. 


And after entering all of my books, and checking off which ones I’ve read, I find I’ve only read about a third of what I own.  Damn, that’s actually more than I had originally estimated.  But I’ve finally resolved to finish reading what I own, before I purchase more.  How long this will take, I don’t know.  A damn long time if I can’t stop buying more books.  I just bought another one over the weekend.  And one I didn’t really need.  Dumbass.  And to make matters worse, most of the books I have yet to read aren’t ones I’m really looking that forward to reading.  I mean, come on, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory?  It’s over 1400 goddamn pages long!  How the hell am I ever going to get through that?  So why did I buy them in the first place?  Oh yeah, that’s right, I love books.  And so, because I did buy them, I am bound and determined to read them, if for no other reason than to teach myself a lesson.