Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Book Audition

I have a weakness for TV talent shows. If it's got talent, I'll watch it. Remember Star Search? Loved it. I think it's a Filipino-thing - we looooves us some talent shows! Nowadays, I especially love the audition episodes, but not for the ridiculous, humiliating auditions. I truly get a kick out of watching someone who looks like they live next door to you get up on stage and knock people's socks off with an amazing voice, or fantastic dancing, or a great act. It inspires me to know that there are so many people out there with hidden talents. You never know what people will come out with.

Here's where the big link comes in.

I also have a weakness for books. In this day of e-readers (which I think are pretty cool, by the way), I still prefer holding a book in my hand, feeling the pages between my fingers, smelling fresh ink, or even aged paper (ok, kinda fusty paper, but it's a unique smell). I used to be pretty haphazard with my purchase of books. One look at our basement bookshelves and you'll see that both hubby and I love them. We treasure our favourites, and are loathe to give them up.

Since we became homeowners, we've become really frugal with our pennies, and very careful about what we fill our space with. So, we stay away from book fairs and second-hand bookstores. It's just too easy to bring home a bagful of books.

So, we audition them from the library.

I worry about libraries. I worry that they will disappear altogether. I've heard high school students tell me that they do 90 percent of their research on the internet now. I wonder if my own children will know the freedom of walking into a library, browsing the shelves, finding a quiet corner to peruse them, and then taking home any book of their choosing to look after and enjoy for a couple of weeks. To me, a library is a place to enjoy, not just a resource. Maybe they will survive in some other form - perhaps digital, I dunno. Maybe I'm just a dusty traditionalist...

Anyway, any books that I'm even remotely interested in purchasing always get a couple of weeks to prove themselves to me when I get them from the library. When it comes to knitting books, I'm usually only intrigued by a pattern here or there. This week, though, the auditioning has been tough. I've borrowed these four books from the library, and so far, at least three of them are on my "must buy" list. I'm loving how, yet again, there are people out there who are sticking their necks out and showing off their talents, and believe me, there is TONS of talent in these books. I'm not going to go through reviewing them right now. I'm still enjoying paging through them, reading bits of them here and there, savouring them slowly like pieces of hard caramel candies.

Mmmm... candy...

All I have to say is: It's probably a good thing for my bank account that our mail services are on strike right now. It gives me time to set some money aside, and some time to decide how much I really want these books. Do they deserve to go on to the next round? Will they go to Vegas? Will they make the top twenty?

Oy, I really have to get out more.


  1. I love the library! I still remember the old days when I would hang out at the library and just go through all the shelves, subject by subject. It was fabulous and love the smell of old books...LOL. It's something that I miss, since living in Italy and I can't say my Italian is good enough to do research with... and probably would be weird to go and just sniff the books :P

  2. Hi linda, thanks for stopping by! You know, I bet you could surreptitiously do some good book-sniffing in a local library. Just pick up some books and turn the pages reeeeeeally slowly...

  3. I do believe that the economic downturn has been good for libraries. I've seen several articles on how to cut spending, reference the library as one method. It makes sense to me, I am already spending money on it I should use it, and I joyfully do!

  4. Yes, I think you're right. Maybe it's a good way for people to re-learn that you don't have to OWN books in order to get something out of them.