Chapin City Blues

Writing is writing whether done for duty, profit, or fun.

Dairy of a Book Hunter Entry 1

January 12, 2014

Imagine it’s no different than any junky itch. The book hunter—the bibliophile, the bibliomane, the book junky, suffer of the gentle madness—knows when another fix is needed and his nights become restless. This fix started with the hunger for something beautiful on my shelf. For only a $1.50, I purchased Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar’s second edition to The Madwomen in the Attic: The Woman Writer and the Nineteenth-Century Literary Imagination. But it wasn’t enough. After work Friday, I weaseled down to Barnes &  Noble and purchased two novels (at a $1.79) for my mother, and Erotic Poems by E. E. Cummings and Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Living by Thich Nhat Hanh for myself. This morning, in the mail, arrived Dark Secret Love by Alison Tyler.  And later, El Senor, who’s down in the Valley visiting during the winter, arrived and we went adventuring to Barnes & Noble once again where I finally found a copy of Lone Survivor—a book I wanted to see since I saw the movie.

IMG_20140112_011456Zone One by Colson Whitehead was purchased earlier in the week, while I’m still devouring (slower now that I like it) a YA read. Still, the itch is still burning up through me and I’m afraid that I can’t stop thinking about placing more novels and novellas and collections of short stories on my shelves. I’m running out of space. It’s only a matter of time before my rooms are wall to wall shelves with books piled on the floors before them, towering higher than Babylon. This book lust is bound to be the end of me, yet I can’t stop feeding the itch. Bringing home strays to live with me. Even in my fantasies with women (the nonsexual ones, guys, sheesh), books are involved. An ideal partner must suffer from the same madness. Must lust for books as much as I do. Can you imagine this perfect union in Barnes & Noble (a book hunter’s heaven)?

Oh, one can only dream. Am I right?

A Few Things

December 30, 2013


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Hello. This is Shaun speaking. Typing? Whatever. That’s me up there in the slideshow with my reporter face on. It’s cute, isn’t it? What can I say? I take my good looks from the good parts of my daddy and mommy and I have to say that I’m one awesomely, über-cute baby toddler big boy bad ass. I’ve taken over Dad’s computer because I can and he’s not around because he’s sitting in the corner, his legs up with a book lying his lap reading some book about a little person—someone who’s a little bigger than me, I’m told—with hairy feet and who wears a ring and fights a dragon. He tells me that he’ll read it to me when I’m older and can sit still longer than for a few minutes, but I’m all like, “Dad, I can type seventy-two words per minute. I’ll read books when I learn to read. Until then, lemme just get on the computer and blog my thoughts.”

And what thoughts does an almost-two-year-old me have? Well, first of all, I noticed that my feet are funny and cute and—supposedly, according to my father who gives them a sniff whenever he’s in the process of changing my diaper (I think because it makes him laugh that I laugh, but I only give him those chuckles because I know it means so much to him to hear me laugh)—stink.

Secondly, I’ve noticed that my dad has a lot of books. And I mean A LOT of books. Now most people think they have a lot of books when they fill up one shelf space. And that it’s over doing it when you fill up an entire shelf. Dad has more than that. More than three.

Your average almost-two-year-old might say a gazillion (actually, your average almost-two-year-old would just babble some nonsense, but whatever, but I give all my peers the benefit of the doubt) shelves, but it’s less than that. Way less than that. But, to be honest, I think my dad wants to hit that some day. He just might.

Now the word hoarder gets thrown around a lot these days, but that’s not too far from the truth with Dad. He  likes to call himself a book hunter—which is like a treasure hunter, but one who buys his booty rather than stealing it from other people. For instance, he heard that Barnes & Noble was having their red-dot sale where everything with a red dot is half price. He also knows that since it’s the end of the year, the calendars are also on sale.

He made off with three books from the red-dot sale—Blonde Bombshell by Tom Holt, whoever that is; Martin Sloane by some guy named Michael Redhill; and Along the Watchtower by Constance Squires—for only $1.79 each. Not a single one of them is about a fox or a monkey that makes friends with a walrus named Tiny Tamoo. At least none of them have tiny people with hairy feet in them, which is an upgrade for my dad.

Along with these books, he walked away with copies of Your True Home by some guy with a funny name (Dad says to be respectable of others, but the guy’s name is Thich Nhat Hanh; it reads like something I say when I’m just making noises with my mouth to entertain my parents) and a copy of The Upanishads, which he tells me is a holy book from some ancient religion, translated by another guy with a weird sounding name—Eknath Easwaran. I asked Dad about his non-religion and the fact that he has a lot of books from various religions, but he just rubbed my head, picked me up, and blew on my tummy so it sounds like my butt, which always makes me laugh.

He bought himself a Zombie wall calendar filled with a lot of awesome zombie drawings, which would scare most almost-two-year-olds, but not me because I’m a zombie slayer at heart and I laugh in the rotting faces of the undead. He bought a One Direction calendar for my cousin, Jaylene—sure she gets eye-candy as a calendar, but you ask for a calendar of 1950s pin-ups and  you’re told you’re too young (pfft! double standards)—as well as, a Smurfalicious bookmark. Nothing for me? Gee, thanks Dad.

Oh well, I think that’s about all I have to say tonight. Maybe, if I’m good enough (or if Dad’s reading that other book about more little people with hairy feet and rings), I’ll get to post soon enough.

For Chapin City Blues, this is Shaun Damien Corona signing off. And Happy New Year!!!

P.S. I should probably note (Dad told me to) that the sale price is in store only, as it seems. If you want to pay $1.79 for the red-dot books you’ll need to have a membership and actually visit the store. It seems the website is marked at a regular (and semi-discounted) price. However, as any good book hunter in training knows, Amazon has them for a fairly reasonable price, which is why I linked to those pages in most cases. Sorry. Continue on to my dad’s rather boring posts about being a boring adult.

“Before I sputter out”

June 4, 2013


Life is good
And I feel great
’cause mother said I was
A great mistake

Novocaine for the soul
You’d better give me something
To fill the hole

Exhibit A: Two books by Brian Greene

Exhibit A: Two books by Brian Greene

I’ve a problem. I’m a book addict. I have hundreds of books in my house, and I’ve only read about a fourth of them. And I still buy books, even though I have several unread tomes here. Today I purchased two books (The Elegant Universe and The Fabric of the Cosmos both by Brian Greene) – coupled with the Steve Martin book I purchased yesterday, the text book I purchased over the weekend, the BDSM erotica novel I purchased the same day, a novelization, and the book by Michio Kaku I purchased this morning because carpe diem, librum venator (NOTE: I don’t know Latin; I used Google translator for the second half of that phrase). I’m a book addict and my addiction is worsen when my emotional control has been compromised, which it has been compromised for over a year now. And I don’t see a solution to my problem because the only solutions that are available aren’t solutions, really. So I return to filling the void in my heart by filling up my bookshelves, which are overflowing as it is.

Exhibit B: The Good Book

Exhibit B: The Good Book

Another book caught my attention at Barnes & Noble this afternoon – I find myself unable to muster the urge to come home to nothing these days. A.C. Grayling has compiled (written?) a book he called The Good Book: A Humanist Bible. But because the Brian Greene books aren’t for leisure, I put off purchasing the book until a later date (or when I succumb to my itch).

I love the smell of new books. And I love the smell of old books. There’s something intoxicating about the scent of books that eases me into a sort of high that makes me forget my problems if only for a second. I just know that if something doesn’t turn around for me, I’ll be blowing my paychecks (minus the money I put aside for Shaun) on books until they bury me alive.