Friday, May 9, 2014

Room with a View

What do you do when you fall so far behind? Honestly, this is a question I have no answer for. It is the one I pose because I don't believe there is an answer, and therefore it will not be the smart-ass query I pose this week. So, honestly, what do you do when you need to catch up?

There is no room for books on my main and secondary bookshelf, at least not for books. My cat, Sabin Rene Figaro Chavez Moore has found space enough to stare at me wide eyed and accusingly from time to time, but as far as authors and books, my main shelf has found its tenants and the place seems to be rent control. Jim Butcher has the top floor mostly to himself, though Rachel Aaron and Illona Andrews have stubbornly kept to their shared condo despite the, quote, unquote, misogyny from the former. Brom, on the other hand, has been caught sleeping in the penthouse staircase with a rolled duffle and a pack full of art supplies and no matter how many times we kick him out, or how many times we change the locks, he still somehow finds his way up there every 3rd Wednesday.

The second floor, though crowded, is a mystical sort of place full of pagans, idolaters and shapeshifters. Lev Grossman and Neil Gaiman are on good terms as far as neighbors go on the corner end of things while Thomas Sniegoski and Carrie Vaughn are quite chummy with Mark Zicree while he and his constant revolving door of roommates discuss the end of the world. And, right in the middle, having bought at least three different rooms all for herself, (and the massive amounts of parties she has to celebrate her success,) J. K. Rowling sits like a queen at throne in her contentment.

But, if my main shelf is like rent control condo's then my secondary shelf is more like a hostel. Well traveled, a little seedier than a hotel, and full of people who keep coming back because it's comfortable and nobody has killed them and stolen their wallets yet. Simon Green and Terry Goodkind, Stephen King and Margaret Weiss/Tracy Hickman. This place is for the glory and the ones that came and went and came again when I wasn't quite paying attention. I love them for their tenacity, but at any point they might be replaced by one that needs the space.

In the bedroom, serving multiple purposes, is the halfway house of bookshelves, of which I can name no names. Why? Because, I don't know who they are off the top of my head, and am too lazy to pick myself and my laptop up and run in there to name a few. That shelf is where books go to die slow deaths of disuse. Their drugs are simple but extreme: New York Times Best Sellers List and A Good Read by [Endorsement]. Like many famous people who visit these places, they were referred to by someone else famous, maybe even someone who can handle their vices like Stephen King or Ursula k. Le Guin, but didn't quite catch the mark.

Once a week I would go out, less frequently these days, and go to the bookstore, a little place right down the street that no longer exists in reality, and pick out three or four books. I would give each a turn, and 7 times out of 10 it would pan out well and I'd have another spot open for rent. These days, all but the very lucky have been moved directly to the halfway house in my room, next to my bed, in it's place of shame where they are set aside but not quite forgotten in all but names...I should light a candle for them, maybe.

Now it has been several months since I have gone book shopping. Under the guise of waiting for good books to catch up, but really just trying to find the time to read, and not just the occasional audiobook, I have gone without for too long. Where do I go from here?

I could, in all fairness, pick up a book in my favorite, still running series. Perhaps try to find some space for Butcher to expand or maybe one of my less needy tenants in the main building. Or, I could always check out the hostel and see what those workhorses like Green or Kadrey are working on. The fear, and the excitement comes in the same flavor, though less severe in consequence, as Russian Roulette. Will it be the safe click of a good book that I collect, or will it be the last heat and pressure I hear of a dud before that bullet cracks my skull and I'm forced to resign myself to fate of needing a bigger halfway house to share my shame.

...and yes I know that final analogy didn't make sense. Shush!

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