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?

Let’s Get On With It

January 6, 2014


Enough with the ring-a-ding-a-ding, let’s chime in the new year with the solemn vows of  new-year-new-me bullshit that most of us forget by the third week in—”Oh, I tried to keep up that diet, but all that lovely junk food kept pouring itself into my mouth and exercising got too difficult because my couch shackled me to it.” I decided not to hop onto to a dietary trend. I’m not juicing it up, downing smoothies in place of meals, not slim-fasting or weight-watching or Jenny-Craig-ing or blowing money on the dangerous crossfit (cross fit?) trend.

In celebration of the new year, I lopped my hair by a collected amount of five inches.

In celebration of the new year, I lopped my hair by a collected amount of five inches.

This year, my resolution is a revolution of my psyche. It’s a revolution of reattaining the peace she-who-shall-not-be-mentioned managed to break like a Miley Cyrus music video (ugh! That’s an image I’ll never wash from my memory). To regain a sense of control over my anger, over my emotions, over my moderate behavior in all things. Essentially, return to my philosophical roots. Mindful breathing. Mindful eating. Mindful living, and finding peace through my existence and learning through the cosmos of all that is around me. Religion for the religionless.

I resolve to read more books. To learn new things. Write more stories and talk about writing with teenagers of the library. To experience new things. To return to patience and humility. To change what is in my power and accept what isn’t. To count my “blessings.” To improve myself physically and emotionally and mentally and structurally (wait…what?).

Not a new me for a new year, but a back-to-basics me for another year that’s already proving to be absolute shit. And once I accomplish these goals, it won’t faze me.

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.