Tuesday, December 30, 2008

BAA: Book Addicts Anonymous

Care to join? I've whined about this problem before, but I'm going to do it again: I'm drowning here. I keep buying books. I hardly ever part with books. The shelves are full. Help! This might not be so traumatic if actually read the books I bought; I might then be able to find some that I could give away or sell. But many of the books just land in piles (alphabetized piles, mind you, but piles nonetheless) and don't get read because tomorrow the mailcarrier will bring something else.

Today, for example. I received three books today: Wandering Star by J.M.G. Le Clezio, who won the Nobel Prize for literature this year. It looks terrific. I've only read a short story by him until now, and I'm looking forward to reading this book. Someday. I also got The Teahouse Fire by Ellis Avery. I met Ellis at VCCA this month and she read an exerpt of this book to the fellows. It seemed intriguing, and so . . . And I also got Ron Carlson Writes a Story by Ron Carlson. I hadn't bought any new craft books for a while, and someone--I know longer remember who--recommended this one.

I confess that I bought these from Amazon.com, but in the past couple of weeks I've also bought books from the two local indpendent bookstores. So while I feel guilty for buying books that it's likely to take me years to read, I don't feel guilty about where I bought them.

I'm stimulating the economy, maybe. Yeah, that's it. That's my story.


Lakin said...

Well,sounds like you're not only a member but President of your local BAA. ~sigh. I'll have to join too. I've got those same piles all over, right next to the New Yorker stacks. As for Ron Carlson Writes A Story, I've been recommending that for over a year to any and all writers. So it might have been me. If I'd actually met you, that is. That book has helped me continue writing a piece when I'm clutching my sparse hair in despair, not knowing what to do. I love that he shows how he got his first draft down. Love your blog and your New Yorker reviews. I've got a link to it from my own. Happy happy for the year to come.

Clifford Garstang said...

Okay, now I'm really going to have to read the Carlson. Thanks for reinforcing that decision!

I've visited your blog before too and have now added a link. Thanks!

cvillewords.com said...

I want to hear about that Carlson when you've finished it. I bet it's good.

Lakin said...

thanks for linking, Cliff. Loved your posts from Sewanee, too ...my friend Cecelia Jones was there this summer and she originally sent me here. I'm putting apps together for writing colonies and retreats over the winter break. It's a part-time job! VCA sounds like a favorite place of yours.

ps have you read many of Carlson's short stories?

Clifford Garstang said...

Ah, Cecilia and I had loads of fun at Sewanee. Glad she told you about PF.

Yes, VCCA is special. I know other colonies are wonderful, too, but I'm not sure how I could improve on VCCA.

I've read Carlson stories, but off hand I can't tell you what. In my new year organizing frenzy I came across a book of his I didn't remember I had, so I may need to read it soon . . . (appropos of this post on BAA!)