For Love of Books

There’s been a discussion of movies-versus-film (specifically The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug) and the problem of politically-motivated book reviews over at author John C. Wright’s blog. I’ve been reading his essays and reviews since he had a livejournal account.

Despite trolls (both occasional and persistent), the commentary has been consistently good. Although Mr. Wright writes SF, he and his audience are well-read in various genres. Their recommendations introduced me to interesting authors like Ted Chiang and Cordwainer Smith.

But I haven’t read any of Mr. Wright’s novels.


The usual: “not enough time.” As I simplify my lifestyle, I’ve been carving out more time for pleasures like reading and painting. (And Writing! How I missed it!)

This fall I purchased the Kindle version of Mr. Wright’s The Golden Age and Count to a Trillian. I was pretty sure they were part of the same series, but wasn’t completely sure. He was nice enough to  answer  – they are the first parts in a trilogy and a multi-volume series, respectively.

I’ve got a lot to look forward to!

So I’ll start with The Golden Age,  which “uses the ‘throw them in the deep end of the pool’ method” of beginning the story. (Note: His very words.)

Next will be a Young Adult novel. One of the Madcappers** lent me her favorite novel The Fault In Our Stars (and a dire warning about keeping a box of tissue handy.) After that is Tolkien again. I finished re-reading The Annotated Hobbit during the days I was snowed-in, then I received the 50th Anniversary edition of the trilogy, and I just orderedThe Silmilion? Simillarion? Slimjimslamalion? The mythological back story that Miss Toni has been after me to read. And after….

I have so many books queued up that I’m somewhere between delighted and melancholic.  I recall the time when my mother took me into Central Michigan University’s library.  I loved our town’s small public library and even smaller parochial school library.

But I was overwhelmed by the seemingly endless stacks of a college library. I started tearing up.

I realized for the first time that I couldn’t <i>possibly</i> read all the books in the world. There simply isn’t enough time in a human lifespan. And when I’m dead I’ll obviously have better things to do.

**Madcappers = teenagers with 1) interesting ideas, 2) an odd sense of humour, and/or 3) well-meaning destructive tendencies