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Sunday, May 25, 2008

On Waste and Wants

I am nearly over the plague. I can swallow and speak without bursting a lung. What a terrible bout I had--and it had to happen during my book's release.

I still can't spend a lot of time on the computer, but it gets longer everyday--barring coughing spells.

My only condolence is that I get to do this release thing twice. Next year, Touch Of Fire will appear in print and will be selling in brick and mortar bookstores in Winter 2009.

Believe it or not, I have mixed feelings about this. Since I couldn't read or write after my eye surgery, I spent two weeks cleaning the house from top to bottom. When I got to organizing my books, an overwhelming feeling of regret for my overindulgence came over me.

There was a time when I would have thought having such a large library of books was a sign of distinction, but nowadays it feels like a bloated room. Out of the hundreds of books I have in this house alone, I'll probably only read a handful of them again. The rest gather dust looking oh-so posh on my bookshelves. Such a waste.

This reinforces my efforts to read more ebooks. I don’t have any more space for paper. I've donated boxes and boxes of books over the years and my libraries still look like bloated corpses.

I'm from an older generation and will probably always prefer a paper book in my hands, but I realize too that it affects the environment as well as my space issue, so before I buy a new book, I check to see if it has come out in e-format first. Many traditional publishers are doing this now, so yay for them. They are seeing the future.

And yay, for Colleen Lindsay over at FinePrint Literary who will henceforth only accept e-queries. When she mentioned the reams of paper she gets and all the time it takes to open those envelopes, it hit me between the eyes. All of us have got to be more conscious of our resources and that includes our time.

I had popped over to KS Augustin's website where she hosts a monthly podcast. Gay romance author, Carol Lynne was her guest. I was touched by a question Carol's young daughter asked her. She asked: When will I find out what I'm good at? Big question from such a little girl.

I saw a slogan on a woman's t shirt the other day. It said: To do the impossible, you must see the invisible.

No truer words.

Every time you let something stop you, whatever the reason, you let the Reaper win. Do what you love and do it well. Plan not just for next year, but the next 20 years.

See the invisible, then make it real so everyone else can see it. If I can do it, anyone can. I'm not that special. I'm just persistent.

Can you tell I'm feeling better? I haven't been this chatty in ages. It's a holiday in the US this Monday. We honor our veterans. Have a great weekend everyone. We'll have markets tomorrow.


Tia Nevitt said...

Nice post! I'm sorry to hear you were so ill. I agree with you about having a book in hand. When the price on e-book readers comes down a bit, I may indulge in one.

Maria Zannini said...

I am waiting for the price to come down too. It would be nice to read in bed with a small handheld reader.

What with the push to digital tv and those new tiny computers coming out this year, I'm hoping prices will start coming down for all electronics.

Mike Keyton said...

Hi Maria,

Glad to see you so chipper. Mind you I don’t agree about your purge on books. I know what you mean about books occupying space with the certainty that they may never be read again. But books on shelves do more than sigh to be read or at least dusted every so often. They pluck invisible chords and at a very deep level remind you of who you are, where you come from. Every time I pass one of my shelves a book title, or maybe just the colour of a particular binding will catch my eye and at once draw me back to the past when that particular book was bought or read. I think the mere presence of books flavour the mind. I have a really dreadful book called Hirah Singh’s Tale by Talbot Mundy. It’s about an ultra loyal Indian fighting for the British Empire on the Western Front and then the Middle East. I read it once as a child, read it again last year to try to understand why I liked it as a child, and will probably never read it again. But I’ll keep it not just because it had once belonged to my father, but because a mere glance at it’s spine evokes something in me. Similarly Lavengro brings back summer in a Swansea bed sit…the list is endless. Since moving to a smaller house I have books in the garage and attic. These I don’t see, but I know they’re there – even some second hand paper backs of Richard S Prather…they’re there, and that’s enough. I think that shirt slogan you mentioned sums it up: ‘To do the impossible, you must see the invisible.’ A book collection is an occult force.
Sorry for the diatribe. Caught me by surprise. Anyway, part of the fun of visiting someone’s house is inspecting the bookshelves. No fun in staring at some sleek machine.
PS if you have a copy of Centennial by Michener you’re throwing away toss it over here :)

Maria Zannini said...

>>But I’ll keep it not just because it had once belonged to my father, but because a mere glance at it’s spine evokes something in me.

You know, I never considered that. I do have a few books from my youth that I keep for just those reasons. And there are special books in the collections, the very old, the rare, and the sentimental.

But the majority of my books were just fun reads. I liked them, but I probably won't read them again. If I ever did purge my shelves completely, I'll still keep the special books and get rid of the rest.

Ref: Michener

Oh...umm...rats! I think I sold that at a garage sale last year.

But if I see another copy I'll fling it over to your side of the ocean.

Mike Keyton said...

Thanks for the possiblity of Centennial. Ref wasted paper did you know that one of our motorways, the M6, is noted as 'Love Highway'?
The reason is that much of its underlay is made up of re-processed Mills and Boon romance novels. It's a nice thought. We could have horror highways, chick-lit Boulevards, and literary side streets

Maria Zannini said...

And you think Americans are curious. LOL!