On the Shelf: Dusting Off the Shelf

This feature has been sitting sadly dormant, waiting for me to remember that blogging consistently is something that a) I enjoy doing and b) probably SHOULD be doing and c) is great for the ol’ NaNoRebel word count. On the other hand, you know what hasn’t been sitting dormant? My reading project!

That’s right. Although I’m currently four books behind in my Goodreads reading challenge, I have been reading steadily at a pace that I have not maintained in years. Maybe it was the challenge? Maybe it is the fact that whenever I dive deep into the reading pool, I notice that my writing-idea brain starts churning, and the creative juices start pumping, and I actually get more writing done. Or…

It could possibly be that I finally got around to purging my bookshelves, took a giant stack of used books down to a used bookstore I had never visited, got $60 worth of store credit, and then spent at least an hour ambling around their shelves and shelves of classic (80s and 90s) fantasy and science fiction. I can’t even describe how awesome it was to be like, oh hey–Stainless Steel Rat! How you been, Harry Harrison? How’s Slippery Jim? (The answer: Just as awesome as I remember when I was reading the series in college in the 90s). Aw, Barbara Hambly… I missed you and your Silicon Mage. Hey, Poul Anderson and Mercedes Lackey and and Patricia McKillip and Tanya Huff and Anne McCaffrey and books with spaceships on the covers and books with dragons and fancy fantasy font on the covers and books that are the third in a series so I get mad, but still enjoy them anyway, and books that are gigantic because they’re all three books in a series…

Excuse me, I’m feeling a little misty here, need to go and put on some flannel and some Converse and smoke a clove cigarette in Washington Square Park and then go to an SCA fighter practice in Union Square Park, I’m feeling so nostalgic…

So many books, so little time. My current nighttime view.

This past week, I dove into the stack, reading The Silicon Mage and Stranger at the Wedding, both by Barbara Hambly. Both of these books scratched that high/alternate universe fantasy itch, with casts of characters, female POV characters with agency, wonderful ways to look at magical systems, and just all around made me feel like I was reading this sort of fantasy for the first time again. Yeah. Nostalgia. Then, I read The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You by Harry Harrison. This series is/was a favorite of mine and my brother’s. In fact, when I posted about it in the family chat, everyone got all nostalgic right along with me. I love the fast-paced, comedy-noir-in-space vibe, and now I want to go back and see if they have any more on the shelf because I want the rest of the series…

Outside of the bookstore, I picked up Hunter Houston and the Molten Menace by Bobby Nash on Kindle Unlimited, which is a tie-in to the Bubba the Monster Hunter series by John Hartness. It’s a fun actioner with lots of twists and tunnels (literally). Nostalgia aside, one of the things I enjoy about the current indie publishing scene is that if you like a series, the author is probably writing in it quite frequently, and doing things like inviting other authors to write in their universe. Which is great for readers who enjoy that universe.

Anyway, that’s my reading wrap-up for this week. At the moment, I just started reading Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly. I’m making good progress on Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow, and I’m getting through my Social Media Marketing text chapter by chapter. I also need to get cracking on some of the reading I’m doing for background for the Rick Keller Project, but hey, look at that fat stack of books up there. I won’t be hurting for something to read. I’ll tell you all about it next Wednesday!

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2 Responses to On the Shelf: Dusting Off the Shelf

  1. Bob McGough says:

    I miss doing thrift store book dives, I used to go all the time, and that led to having too many books. Which as I moved something like 11 times in 13 years, was a problem lol. I switched almost totally to ebooks at that point, and while I don’t really miss reading physical books, I do miss rummaging to find that next great find at the local thrift.

    • siegerat says:

      I’m the same way — used to love used bookstores, old books, library book sales, thrift store books — but moving every few years means that I can’t just line my house with shelves and call it a home+library. (Also, my spouse would probably also want to share my shelves, sheesh.) Nowadays, I still have a stack of books, but the fiction paperbacks tend to come in and then get dropped off at the used bookstore after I read them, and I do have a good number of titles on my Kindle, which I like because I can read it at night without the light on. 😀

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