Book fast

Late in 2011, I decided that I wasn’t going to buy any books or clothes in 2012. I didn’t make that decision because I hate learning or looking good, but because I am in debt and and books and clothes are my biggest indulgences.

Thanks nSeika!

“But reading opens up new worlds! Knowledge is power! Are you a fireman?”

No. And for the record, “not buying books” is not the same thing as “not reading.” I probably own a hundred books that I haven’t read as of this moment, the take from my early 2011 binges when I was settling down to life in the U.S. and enjoying my first paychecks after a long drought. Between the nearby Green Valley Bookfair, the local library’s annual book sale, and my habit of buying things on as a way to kill time, I filled up two big shelving units in a very short time.

Oh, and I got a Nook for my birthday.

I’ve observed over the years my tendency to indulge every interest of mine with a book purchase. I do love to study Chinese, but beyond the one or two texts I occasionally work on,  I have a pretty solid collection of Chinese textbooks that I rarely use. I also have books that I haven’t read on learning French, art history, symbolic logic, linguistics, homosexuality in the Philippines, and St. Teresa of Avila. At some point, I decided that owning a book on a subject was just as good as actually learning about it.

Not buying books is my horsehair shirt this year. I want to read the books I have and concentrate on learning about the subjects that genuinely interest me. I probably have enough books to last me the year, but I’ve also tried to think of it as an opportunity to read books I might not have read by borrowing from friends or going to the library. I will say, however, that I was pretty disappointed in the local library’s selection last time I went.

Most popular search: Large-print books
Most popular book: The Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Most popular author: James Patterson

And it seemed like for every book on the shelf, there was another book offering Jesus’ perspective on the same subject. I couldn’t find any of the anthro books I was looking for and not much even caught my eye. I was surprised because I bought a brown bag brimming over with books  (for only $5!) last time they had a book sale, but maybe I already bought everything I wanted. I may just be sniffing up the wrong tree, however, as a lot of peers recommend the local university library.

A little corner of heaven…thanks Oyvind Solstad

Right now, I just nerded out over Golden Arches East: McDonald’s in East Asia and I’m in the middle of both Chinese Femininities, Chinese Masculinities and Women in Taiwan: Sociocultural Perspectives. What are you reading?


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