Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I Heart Books

I was thirty two years old when I read my first actual book. It's not that I couldn't read, I just didn't want to read. I didn't get why people would choose to read a book when there was so much beer around. I don't even remember the name of the book but one day I checked it out in the library.
I got home in the evening and at three in the morning I was still reading. I finished that book the following day and went back to the library and got three more. Three days later, I went back and that's how I began loving books.
I had a book a day habit for a very long time. I was so fascinated that people actually thought these stories up in their minds and how brilliant they must be to be able to do this.
If I begin a book and the book is good, I don't stop reading the book. I will go to the bathroom or make a sandwich but other than that, every book is a one sitting book. That's my process. If I'm going to read a book, I'm going to read the whole book.

The thing that will make me close a book and annoy me is too much 'description'. I think some people would say that, me, as a writer, I don't have nearly enough description. I can't stand it. I do not want to read three paragraphs of you describing a tree trunk. It hurls me over the edge.
Writing in a vivid way is a gift and I don't know if I have this gift or not. I tend to write in a way that I guess is sort of sharp. I mean. Just say the thing. My feeling is, don't fuck around for three pages to get to the point. The point should be aggressive enough that the person reading feels like you've just thrown up on their shoes. Say the thing already. I don't want to 'ease' anyone into the point I'm trying to make. Because, in the end you are saying the same thing. People are going to agree or not and it won't matter how much you've watered it down. In my head this makes sense.

I love books. I love buying new books. I prefer new books to new shoes. I am very weird about my books. You could borrow money from me and I would probably forget about it. But a book? I will be up at night thinking about the fact that, my book is at your house and not on my bookshelf. I don't like lending out my books. People say, but you pass them along so other people can enjoy them. No, no, no. They are my books. Just step away from the bookshelf. I don't even like the kids to borrow my books. I walk in their room and see a Starbucks cup sitting on one of my books and I get dizzy.
I like hardback books. I LOVE hardback books. I love the way books smell. I love looking at the covers of books, and judging.
And the bookstore, I love the bookstore. I wish I was married to the bookstore. You know the beautiful way the bookstore smells? I could stay in there all day. The bookstore plays music that makes you feel warm and safe and calm.
I want my book in the bookstore. I love books. Books make me feel like warm cider on a blistery cold Montana night, as the wind howling through the big, sad, oak tree that is bending as if it's back is broken, almost saying, "I bend, but don't break, in the howling, crisp, heaving, rageful, Penelope Cruz type weather." At least, that's what I hear the tree saying.

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