Skip to main content

Books in a Cold Climate

I love to read. Mostly fiction. Sometimes an autobiography, or biography, but that's rare. Even rarer is non-fiction. Now, this isn't to say that I'm constantly reading. It comes in spurts. I'll go for a stretch without a book in-hand each night (or weekend), but then there will be long stretches where I'll devour a tome, then quickly begin another one. Ashley is much the same way, but is much more well-read than I. Our bookshelves, nooks and crannies are littered with books, both read and unread. And it was while perusing these collections that I realized something.

I don't remember half the books I've read.

No, dear reader, this isn't some revelation of early Alzheimer's (at least, hopefully it's not). I can remember the fact that, yes, I did indeed purchase and read books X, Y and Z. But ask me who the murderer was in Ruth Rendell's Shake Hands Forever, or what most of the plot points were in Bob Cook's Paper Chase, and you'll be met with a blank stare from yours truly. For some books, that's not the case. I can distinctly recall many of the details (and much of the emotional impact) from P.D. James' Innocent Blood, Peter Carey's His Illegal Self, and David Benioff's City of Thieves, among others. With most previously read tomes, however, I could crack them open and have an almost brand new reading experience.

This is an issue which has resonated with me of late, as I have contemplated my under-used e-reader. It's a nice gadget, and I've read a few books on it, but something about it has prevented me from fulling realizing its potential. In theory, thousands of stories could be stored in its archives. But then I grew up in a different era, when 'thousands of stories' meant a physical place to put them all. This brave new technological world is one in which I stand reluctantly upon the threshold.

For awhile now, I've wanted to cling to the physical, bound book, to keep it after reading, to know that it is there again to possibly be re-read, to be able to look at my own little library and recall past reading adventures. But one has to wonder: If I'm hard-pressed to remember some of the books I've read, and to occasionally be surprised that I even own a particular book, then is this keeping of the old way really worth anything? Are books lining a shelf really worth much, other than to be good dust collectors? Should I dive-in all the way to the world of e-reading?

It's not like I go back and read books again, anyway. Most of the time, they serve their purpose as a distraction, a way to pass the time, perhaps to learn something, gain a different perspective, or to be moved. But they're rarely re-read. I feel as though life's time is limited enough as it is, that if I am to devote some hours to reading, it should be with something brand new. Keep looking forward, as it were. Just hope I remember more of what's read in the future. Or is that not finally the point?


Popular posts from this blog


Ok, we're now three-fourths of the way through this year's calendar, so I thought I'd rank the thirty-eight 2017 movies I've seen so far.

Here they are....

1. A Quiet Passion
2. Baby Driver
3. Dunkirk
4. Get Out
5. Kedi
6. A Ghost Story
7. Wonder Woman
8. Columbus
9. Brad's Status
10. Marjorie Prime
11. Maudie
12. Logan
13. Spider-Man: Homecoming
14. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
15. Brigsby Bear
16. Atomic Blonde
17. The Big Sick
18. Split
19. Kong: Skull Island
20. It
21. Wind River
22. A Cure for Wellness
23. The Hitman's Bodyguard
24. Norman
25. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
26. Logan Lucky
27. Alien Covenant
28. Ghost In the Shell
29. War for the Planet of the Apes
30. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
31. Life
32. Annabelle: Creation
33. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
34. My Cousin Rachel
35. Baywatch
36. The Bye Bye Man
37. mother!
38. It Comes at Night

It will be interesting to see what the last three months of the year brin…

If You Could Read My Mind

Dance clubs are a funny thing. They contain within their walls a life force and vibrancy sometimes unmatched anywhere else. When dusk settles and the lights come on, people will flood the dance floors to gyrate to music with hypnotic beats and songs about love, lust and fun at the disco. At gay bars, this sort of scenario usually increases ten-fold. It isn't for everyone, but for many it is a respite from the harsh realities of the real word. It is a place that isn't just a structure, but a sanctuary where folks -- minorities in their own communities -- can take shelter and unwind with abandon, at least for a few nighttime hours.
As someone who benefited greatly from such an aforementioned gay dance club, you can imagine my dismay at news of the closing of Chester Street Bar. In business for over three decades, gay-owned and operated, there was a time when C-Street (as it was known by most) was the only haven for those in the LGBT community, near and far, to enjoy themselves …


"Step out from the mask you stand behind Fearful lost and blind Time to take the time The pressure’s on you Hide away, hide away No tomorrow, just today"
- Brilliant, Ultravox
Today was National Coming Out Day, so of course it gives some pause for reflection on my own coming out story. It was in April 1993, my junior year of high school (go Chargers!). In the six years of writing this blog, I have alluded to how I came out, but never really delved into the intricacies of how it came about. What better day to do so than today?
My first (small) indications of homosexuality manifested in grade school. While in first grade, I thought a fifth grader looked cute. In fifth grade, I would stare, longingly, at a boy in class, until he caught me looking at him. There were some infatuations with boys in middle school, and a first sexual experience during freshman year of high school. Everything up to that point had been, for the most part, based in the physical realm. I liked the way certain…