Format Face-Off

Yesterday I received an email from StephenKing.com’s Newsletter regarding his new addition to The Dark Tower series, The Wind Through the Keyhole, being released sometime in the spring of 2012. The seven-book-long series concluded several years ago (2004 I think), so this new volume is sparking some debate. “The series is already complete, why fuss with it?”

the wind through the keyhole stephen king

 

There is a clear split in the continuity of the books. After the fourth book was written, Stephen King was hit by a car and it was unclear whether he would survive, let alone if the series would ever be finished. Thankfully, both made it through the accident, but the final three books ‘feel’ different. King writes himself in to the series as a character, which could be seen as narcissism, but I think anyone reading The Dark Tower would understand that the world is expansive enough to include the author.

This new book is meant to take place in this gap between the fourth and fifth book, so book 4.5 really. However, my dilemma doesn’t fall with many other readers… Naturally, I will purchase this book, but the biggest question is the format. I’m already a bit disappointed that it’s just barely over 300 pages while the rest sit fat and happy on the shelf between 500 – 1000 pages.

All of The Dark Tower books I own are in paperback. It already drives me up the wall that the first four are mass market size and the remaining three are not. Now with this new addition, if I purchase it right away (come on, like I’m NOT going to preorder it!) it will be in hardcover. It may be another year or more before it’s available in paperback. I know this book is supposed to cover this marked shift in the narrative, but I don’t know if I want a glaring hardcover to mark the obvious shift on my shelf as well.

I know this isn’t really an issue. Some will say “but you have so many books, if you are disciplined, you’re not going to read through them all to justify buying this new book.” (Maybe by ‘some’ I mean my inner voice…) The release is still months away, so I suppose I have time… I just need to resist the Preorder Price Guarantee!

Discount Whore

I’m not usually one to shake my head at a discount, especially when it comes to books, but I noticed this discount at a certain bookseller the other day and just had to share.

This is the sticker on a brand new hardcover book. That’s a grad total of 60% off when you’re a member! I feel like the booksellers are just whoring themselves out now! No wonder places like Amazon.com are making a killing and other places like Borders closed down…

Sucker for a Deal

Woe, my Faithful Reader… Woe!

I have missed my last two book club meetings. Not only do I miss my fellow members, but I also miss reading the books! January’s book has been announced and I pounced on the little free time I had to run out and buy the book. This is fair because I deemed my book club purchases acceptable… However… at the book store, things changed.

 

if i stay gayle foreman

January’s book is “If I Stay” by Gayle Foreman. Less than 300 pages, and over a month to read it, I am amped to get to work. After scouring the shelves, I finally found this teen title in the worst place imaginable: The ‘Buy 2 get 3rd free’ table! As a side note: I’m not too sure about the whole ‘Twilight-fans-would-love-this’ thing… But weighing in at 237 pages, at least the torture will be over sooner!

Whenever I see this table I choose all the books I would buy and just keep them as ideas in my head. THIS time, I had already checked ahead of time to see if the prices online would be cheaper and discovered that they were exactly the same (shock!) so naturally, I justified selecting two more titles because they would be a better bargain.

The first ‘extra’ book is “Will Grayson, Will Grayson” by John Green & David Levithan. A book about two boys with the same name (one capital Will Grayson, the other, non-capped will grayson) that meet randomly in a city and oh-how-awkward one of them is gay! Written in alternating chapters, each author tells the story of one boy, which sounds pretty interesting… but the verdict is still out.

the happiness project gretchen ruben

 

The second ‘extra’ is “The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun ” by Gretchen Rubin. The author spends an entire year trying to enjoy the little things in life and training herself to be happy with what that life has to offer. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like she realizes that she could legally change her name to something that doesn’t sound like it’s coming from a bathroom stall in a college dorm. Instead she tells us that something as simple as ‘putting on shoes’ is enough to make someone happy. Right. Tying laces is fun, Velcro is totally acceptable in adult footware, and when you wear slip-ons, that Hokey-Pokey-foot-stomp-and-shuffle maneuver to get it in there right really makes me want to dance like a preschooler since I’m halfway there already.

 

Who am I kidding, I can’t wait to read them! 🙂

 

 

All I want for Christmas…

With the holidays right around the corner, I find myself in a sticky situation when it comes to the goals I’ve laid out for this blog. There are certainly many books that I’d like for Christmas, but is that the same as buying them myself? If I’m given a gift card to a bookseller, isn’t that almost like cheating? I’m still getting new material and just adding to ‘The Sickness.’ Now, most people who know me will automatically think of getting me books or gift cards for books… and of course I’m not going to tell them not to… But I’m going to do my best to remain true to what I’ve set out for myself: Read the books I have before buying new ones.

Normally I can fill a wish list a mile long with titles I can’t wait to get my hands on, but after a few months of not going into book stores or ordering books online, I realize I’m doing better. It’s sort of like when I decided to give up soda for a few months. I found myself drinking more water and juice, and I didn’t really miss it… that is, until I had one as a ‘treat’ one day. Now, years later, I definitely consume soda on a more frequent basis. This is another habit I intend to kick.

But this all brings me to something I think is a bit more important. When I strip away all of the wanting and yearning for new books or video games or the latest what-have-you, I find that there’s nothing really that I want, and certainly nothing that I need. I find myself more inclined to give than to receive. The feeling I get from knowing I’ve brought a bit of joy to someone’s life brings me more fulfillment than opening a dozen new books.

Usually, whatever I don’t get for Christmas, I get for my birthday which is about a week after. This was frustrating in the past, because this also went hand-in-hand with the “this is your Christmas-plus-birthday present!” Honestly, I don’t care if I get anything this year. In trying to practice living without the constant consumerist feeling, I’ve realized what is more important. What I want is happiness, and that’s not something that can be fulfilled with ‘stuff.’ (For that matter: It’s also not something that can really be given.) It’s something that comes from knowing that I have somehow touched the lives of the people around me, that I have made some sort of impact or left some sort of impression.

That’s all I want for Christmas.