Tuesday, December 7, 2010

afterlife of books

I've been effectively offline for a week, so it hasn't been just my blog I've been neglecting, and I do still love you all. Truly. What has been occupying me was the United Way booksale, an annual pre-Christmas event at UVic. Donated books, cds, LPs, etc. are sold off in a 3-day binge that takes weeks of prep, a day to set up, and at least a day to clean up after. I came in peripherally, as a scout for more-valuable donated items that could be put into the silent auction, and ended up being on board for the whole week of the sale, aside from two meetings already booked.
When I went home each day I was too wiped out to go online--I'd just eat dinner and go to bed. So I have no idea what's been going on in the world all last week. Or even what's been going on in Fandom Wank.

On the other hand, I got to spend five days messing around with printed books, which is always a Happy Thing. I know some writers find the proximity of many many books to be dispiriting: Robert Benchley was said (by Dorothy Parker, I think) to find (used?) bookshops depressing, because he would look at all those volumes and think of every one of the writers behind every one of them, and how each writer had finished writing, put down his pen and thought 'there, that's it, the last word, all that needs to be said.' And the books sitting on the bookshelf, unwanted.
Some writers are agin' the resale of used books, given that the authors & publishers get nowt for them. Others are cheered by the possibility that readers of their used books will go on to buy copies of their new books--this option only open to writers with continuing careers. As a reader, I know I've gone on to buy books by authors whom I learned of from library or 2d-hand reading, so it does work. And, um, yes, I did bring something like 3 boxes of books back from the sale, myself.
I promise you a later post, with pics, from the 1960s-70s cookbooks I snagged during packing up. Though I admit to bitter, bitter disappointment that the photo for 'Novelty Meat Square' is only b/w and not full 1960s colour.

There's something rather marvelous (to me) about the way books go on, as physical artefacts, having a life in the marketplace long after the authors and even publishing houses have gone toes-up. Students and seniors arriving at the cash desk with armloads of biographies and travel books, mysteries and fantasies, art books, and here and there a bestseller from two years back. Books to be read and studied, still wanted.

In other news, a rejection for God's-Meat, though a nice one:
Thank you for your submission to Shimmer. I thought your story was
well-written and evocative, but ultimately didn't think it was exactly
what we look for here. I'm going to have to pass on this, but I wish
you the best of luck placing your story elsewhere.

I'm not hugely surprised, since they buy mostly contemporary stories, and God's-Meat is a take (a piss-take, possibly) on heroic fantasy, but it never hurts to try.


Terri-Lynne said...

Bummer on the rejection. :( but it was a good one, so :)

You missed my big news! Click on: http://www.libraryjournal.com/lj/reviewsbook/887657-421/sffantasy_reviews_december_2010.html.csp

Fourth review. :::buffs fingernails on shirtfront:: not too shabby, huh?

(Sorry to crow here on your page, but I wanted you to see!)

batgirl said...

Terri! That is awesome! Right up there with Tor and Daw and Pyr - Hadley Rille is soaring! And what a good review - you should be getting some library sales from that one.

Crow on my page any time you like, dear heart - it's wonderful to hear!

Terri-Lynne said...

(((((((((love you!))))))))