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Hey BG, I now live in Ohio! Crazy. I'm reading this AWESOME book. Or actually, the third of three (they are published in one volume). It's noir set in Nazi Germany. I'll be posting in a day or so on it.

Life is too short to read crappy books.


With all this saving 50% here and 10% there, no wonder you have that enormous manse.

I'll be interested to hear what you think of this one. There are so many interesting theories as to why politicians in particular (but people in general) find it so difficult to admit a mistake, which by extension makes it almost impossible to correct the mistake. So, a happy six years later, here we are in Baghdad.


What do they call it if you admit to mistakes to easily?? I'm always too fast to assuming I've made a mistake.

I keep thinking all of the unread books I purchased were a mistake, but I know better on that one. I'm just waiting for the right time.

Adorable Girlfriend

AG will be in Central Park this weekend. Do you want me to mail you a bagel and coffee from there?

As for the Christmas thing, maybe it was that he read our RoD HOLIDAY Bake-Off slogan. Maybe...

After all, you did win that year's bake-off!!

blue girl

AG will be in Central Park this weekend.


blue girl

Claire, I'm glad I've got another blue girl in this red state!

Jennifer, I keep thinking all of the unread books I purchased were a mistake, but I know better on that one. I'm just waiting for the right time.

Wish I could say the same thing. But when the right time comes along, I'll be reading the one I just bought.

AG, please take me with...


Bossy remembers books and long stretches of weekends alone and quiet houses. Meeeeeow.


love this post, BG. I am a *compulsive* book buyer. It gets quite ridiculous.

At the risk of burdening you further, may I recommend Nick Hornby's essays in The Believer? They are compiled into two books The Polysyllabic Spree and Housekeeping vs. The Dirt. He writes all about this - book buying, book reading, judging people by their reading. I just loved them! I think you would too. Plus, they are monthly columns, so they are easy to read and to squeeze into a busy day!

(no, I am not Nick Hornby's sockpuppet)

blue girl

Meeeeeow back, Bossy.

Kathleen, I was just looking at your current book list on your blog and also the list of books you read last year. Your lists made me think...I need to read more!

I'll definitely check out the Nick Hornby books you recommended there. I'm always interested in the topic: Judging people by what they read. I'd love to hear what he has to say about that.

Dan Leo

Dearest Blue, I must assure your readers that the great sentence you quoted is from Marcel Proust, not me!

There are far worse habits than buying too many books. And I wouldn't worry about not finishing all the books you start. Y'know, I've reached the stage in my own reading career where I can usually tell if I want to read a book after reading about, oh, one sentence. Or sometimes I can tell that I don't want to read it by the nearly infallible method of deciding how annoying the author's photograph is.

Now I must go and try to read another sentence by Proust, after which I think I'll take a nap.

(By the way, if you buy those Nick Hornby books, when are you going to read "Mistakes Were Made"?)

blue girl

I've reached the stage in my own reading career where I can usually tell if I want to read a book after reading about, oh, one sentence. Or sometimes I can tell that I don't want to read it by the nearly infallible method of deciding how annoying the author's photograph is.

I know what you mean! Me too! Except when I'm being brainwashed by atmosphere. Then, all bets are off. If I'm totally brainwashed, it wouldn't be out of the question for me to buy a book written in French, then decide to buy a French bottle of champagne to drink while I'm reading it and acting like thinking to do something like that is perfectly reasonable and sane!

Seeing that I don't speak French.

I'm gonna read Mistakes Were Made this weekend. *And* I'm going to finish it. My book report will be posted soon thereafter.


BG- I'm admitting to typing *to* when it should have been *too*. I made a mistake...

"Or sometimes I can tell that I don't want to read it by the nearly infallible method of deciding how annoying the author's photograph is."

Oh come on! Name some!!! I agree, but pony up with yours!

blue girl

Look at this picture of Joyce Carol Oates.  It's on the inside back flap of the book I'm in the middle, ahem, of reading by her right now.  I'm *not* saying it's annoying.  I'm just saying it sort of haunts me.


Wow. I've seen her before, but that one looks like it came from the silent movie era. If I'm not *mistaken* she looks as though she should be tied to the train tracks... not to say I wouldn't read a book by someone tied to train tracks. I would.

Larry Jones

It's not school. You don't have to finish them. It's up to the author to hold your interest.

I get my books at the public library. The due date sort of helps me along in my reading.

So, what's up with your Gravatar?

blue girl

I get my books at the public library. The due date sort of helps me along in my reading.

Seeing that I am anti-due dates, libraries don't work well for me.

Alright already with the avatar guilt! I'll do it, I'll do it, mellow harsher!

Almost Canadian

Needless to say I don't buy many books. But when I do... By God I finish them. Even if I have to skim to get to the end.

Dan Leo

Okay, I read almost a whole page of Proust, not bad for a day's work. I just want to say that one possible way to get into Marcel is the gossip and social intrigue angle. One whole big strain of this enormulos book is this lady Mme. Verdurin scrabbling viciously for prominence and laying waste to lesser souls right and left. She gives immortal meaning to the word "chienne".

Okay, that picture of Joyce Carol Oates: if she meant it as a joke, it's great. If she was serious, then this lady has gone completely round the bend.

All right, least favorite author photos: I hated that one of Jonathan Franzen on "The Corrections", where he had the Don Johnson stubble; he looked like some new guy on "As the World Turns" who gets written out after a couple of weeks.

That picture of David Foster Wallace with the do-rag on his head. What is he, a pirate?

Any picture of Dave Eggers. Again, it's the thing on his head. I'm sure he's a great guy and all, but, just: no.

If I get a book out I'm just gonna stick George Clooney's mug on the sleeve.


I LOVED the Jonathan Franzen photo!! I know it was all angles and shadows, but... it worked for me. He had that intellectual Augie Doggie thing going and I'm not even sure I can explain what that is, but one feels it on a visceral level. I thought his stubble was sublime even if calculated. He looked like he had a face capable of that stubble. That was come hither stubble. And don't even get me started on the glasses... which I'm sure you hated as well. :)

And speaking of DFW, I do recall his pirate photo, but looked at one of his photos the other day and he resembled a Geico caveman.

Now George Clooney is a interesting choice. There is a man who is probably only stubble-free for 30 minutes a day. I'm guessing your George photo would have stubble.

blue girl

Ok! Let's have fun.

Here's David Foster Wallace, aka "The Pirate." He seems to me to be a little Christopher Walken in The Deer Hunter.

Here's Jonathan Franzen. I really don't have any sort of issue here. But, that's just me. Everyone feel free to rip him to shreds!

I can't find a photo of Dave Eggers with a thing on his head, but he looks pretty cute here. Also A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius is one of my favorite book titles ever. And yes! I read the whole thing.

Look how great this drawing of Vonnegut is!


BG- you need this photo.

Here's the Geico caveman one of DFW.

blue girl

I thought DFW looked like Daniel Boone in that one.

The b/w shot of Franzen is cute. He's not really my type, but I can see something there.

I can't find it, but I liked the shot of Augusten Burrows on the back of one of his books. Dry or Running with Scissors, can't remember which -- where he's got a baseball cap on backwards.

I like baseball caps worn backwards...


blue girl

Here's a shot of Mary Oliver. I'm reading A Poetry Handbook right now and the shot's on the back cover. But, it's not a full body shot like this. It's tightly cropped -- too tightly cropped -- around her head. You can't see the scenery in the back, and the way she's holding herself, which seems to lighten the mood a tad.

The way it look on the book is scary.


I just did an image search for the Burroughs' photo and a photo of "BeefyInkedMuscle" came up!! WHA???

You're right, DFW does kind of look like Daniel Boone.

blue girl

I'm suprised that I couldn't find that shot. He's got such a huge ego, you'd think there would be nine gazillion shots of him on the intertubes.


There were a bunch that had the baseball hat, just not backwards.

blue girl

Oops. I was spelling his name wrong. (Don't tell billy pilgrim, aka: The Spelling Nazi!)

Can't find the cap backward one, but here's one (if it links right, probably won't) -- cuz it's a flash thingy.

blue girl

Gotta run! The Skimmer just got back from getting me a cherry pie. Must go sample it.


BG, I read the first 100 pages; the truth! If I don't like those pages, I bitch and whine and, well, everyone around me suffers. It used to be 50 pages. But then prospective agents would (very) occasionally request 50 pages. Certainly I owed any published writer better than anything I've ever gotten, even if the notion anyone was in fact reading the pages I sent was either my imagination or their ruse.
And Jennifer, I'm SO quick to apologize for everything that ever goes wrong, ever has or ever could go wrong that one friend asked me if I thought I was God. I don't. I just think I'm guilty.

Dan Leo

Hope that pie was good. I just had a thought, all snark aside for one second, that J.K. Rowling had the right idea. I didn't read her books but I noticed that she didn't have an author photo on the jacket, and at least on the first book there wasn't any author information. I love that. As soon as you stick a picture on there a little of the mystery is dissipated. And I always wondered, why do we need to know that "Joseph Blowhard lives with his wife Josephina and two poodles in Allentown, Pa." Is this just to assure the reader that the author is in fact a human being and does in fact live somewhere on the planet and is not a computer program or an alien from outer space?

blue girl

Dan and grasshopper, you've both given me permission to break a mental rule that I've always had. Which is/was...start the book and read straight through until I'm finished.

grasshopper, I'll make myself read at least 100 pages. And Dan, I'll be reading the Proust books forever, knowing that I can read them a few pages at a time whenever I want.

Dan, RE JK Rowling's comment. Makes sense for a novelist, I suppose. But, I have to admit, I *love* to flip to the inside back flap to *see* the author and read a little bit about them. I guess I do need human confirmation.

I remember the first time I read Anne Lamott. I fell in love with her -- and would read a little, flip to the back to look at her photo -- read more -- flip/look -- etc. I guess it was just a way of getting to know her better. And I loved her crazy, frizzy hair! She's so adorable.

blue girl

But, I can be a kook. You know what else I always do? Read every single word of the publishing page in the front. Every time. It's like a ritual. I love to read the dates, when it was originally published, how many times it was republished, etc. I love that page in a book.

I also love when a book has the page in the back that states what typeface was used and a little history on the type.

Also! I love when the pages are "ragged." -- Love that. Just love the look of that.

billy pilgrim


Spelling, students, is what separates us from the Wingnuts!

Blugrrl gets an F for the Week! No bakies for BG.

billy pilgrim

I don't read like I used to. I've only got three or four books going right now. And at least one of them is populist dreck like science fiction!!! That's right, you can shun me.

Being an adult is for idiots. I'll definitely read more when Snag and I are following Wilco around the world.

billy pilgrim

I'm experimenting with a Vonnegutian commenting method. Like Tralfamodoran literature, little telegrams of comments, a quick thought or two and BANG! move on to the next one.

So you get lots more comments from me.

Your only choice is banning.

Dan Leo

Hey, ya know who have great and lovable jacket photos? Blue Girl and the Grasshopper.

Awright, before I lose my hater reputation I'm outa here to the gym. I gotta get back in time for the show we hate to love -- Mad Men! (Oh, and BG, I have a new thing I do at the gym now: I listen to French on my iPod, so I "will" read Proust in the original someday. Probably at the rate of one sentence per day.)

Michael Bains

Because I buy books when I am brainwashed by atmosphere.

Gee, I have the same problem with appliances.

I love the publishing pages too! It's like you get to know a little something of the Life of the book itself.

Hmmm... Books are a little cheaper than appliances too... You've given me an idea, here BG. They're easier to store as well. I think I like this.



bp- do you want to be banned or shunned? Make up your mind!


Ah, Bluegirl, I think it is just a way the mind disconnects from what we realistically have time for. I always get books, and always read ten different ones at a time wondering if I will ever finish ANY of them.

I also tend to buy more books when in NYC, not sure why. I guess that "kid in a candy store" type of feeling?

Adorable Girlfriend

Wow! Here's where the party is.

I would be happy to take you with me BG. Can you make it to the 30th Street Station in Philadelphia by 5 PM today?

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