January 29 – Far, far too many books

Waiting to be read

            I buy books.  Far, far too many books.  Mostly non-fiction, mostly biography.  People have interesting lives, far more interesting than any fiction.  Here is the pile.  They need to be read but at the rate I am going, I will never finish mostly because I keep adding to the pile.

            Unfortunately, I just don’t have enough time to read.  That is one thing I am looking forward to in retirement.  When we went to the Galapagos, there was a gentleman who said he read three books a week.  A week!  I can barely read one book in three months.  I was so jealous.  I do read when I am at the beach.  I can devour books, so I know it is just a matter of taking the time to do nothing but read.  I hope I will get it.  I hope that in the near future I am writing in this blog about books I am reading and there are many of them.

            I have another pile of books on a chair in the kitchen.  I also buy larger coffee table books—photography, art, and travel.  I like to read newspaper comic compilations and graphic novels.  I work my way through them while I eat my midnight snack.  The last graphic novel I read was George Takei’s “They Called Us Enemy.” Takei was a child when his family was imprisoned in a Japanese interment camp. The book tells the story in comic form. It is a really interesting take on the problem because it comes from his perspective as a child.

            Just for fun, right now I am reading “The Afghanistan Papers.”  Geeze, this country threw money and lives into a black hole that is Afghanistan and for no purpose.  This book just makes me angry.  

            I am also reading a sort of biography of Werner Herzog called “A Guide for the Perplexed.”  The author, Paul Cronin, convinced Herzog it would be a good idea for Herzog to control the biography narrative. So they sit down for conversations that are reproduced in this book.  Herzog is an interesting, quirky man who makes movies that you will not forget.  It is simply impossible to not be affected by “Aguirre the Wrath of God,”  “Fitzcarraldo,” “Rescue Dawn,” or any of his documentaries.  It is true that sometimes the movies can be slow and they can try one’s patience.  Half the fun is in watching Klaus Kinski try to restrain himself. It is easy to believe that Kinski is going to simply go mad before your eyes. According to this biography, Kinski was a handful, to the point that Herzog and Kinski would get into fights on the set and Herzog literally wanted to kill him. Good stuff!

If I am reading this many books, then maybe I will get through my shelves.

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