Thursday, June 26, 2003

Treasure box

I received a wonderful treasure yesterday. A box with the amazon logo on it, full of the most wonderful thing of all: BOOKS! I love books to the point that my NYC connection teases me that he can see what I have been up to by the little piles of books marking my passage, like cairns outlining the path of my progress.

Yesterday's box was a perfect summer mix. It contained (apart from the new Harry Potter book, which I have barely seen yet, as it was immediately seized by younger and more agile booklovers than me, both of whom are also able to run quicker and hide out of sight with their prize) Wet Grave, a mystery novel from my favourite fantasy writer Barbara Hambly, The Mageborn Traitor by Melanie Rawn (I loved Ruins of Ambrai, but I am not that convinced about a lot of her other writing - gets too wordy), Magic Time - Angelfire, by Marc Scott Zicree and Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff, a book I am quite curious about as I loved the first one in this series, and, to top it all off, the book that got me drooling and the rest of my family shaking their heads at my exited response: The New Media Reader edited by Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort!

I have been leafing through the book, and I already know it solved the problem of texts and examples for the little course I have promised to plan and teach in Media Theory this fall. But most important, it promises to sate for a while my hunger, my insatiable desire for more, more answers, more thoughts, more ideas. Sometimes, I think this hunger comes from a childhood of poverty, intellectual as well as material: starved for books I would spend what little money I could get on bus-tickets to the library and return with huge bags full, and then hide in all kind of inventive places in order to read in peace, without guidance but also without restrictions, anything that caught my fancy. My reading is still like this, driven by desire, and while Noah and Nick have organised their book neatly, chronologically and with nice links and suggestions to further reading, that book is dominated by the random nature of the writing. And as such it is chaos contained in one volume, a writing driven as much by desire as is my reading, and on topics as whimsical and complicated to harness and control as my own reading habits.

Of course, the fact that I am a great Nick and Noah fan makes it all the much better. At some point last night I found myself hugging the book with a big grin on my face, thinking about the wonderful minds who pieced this together. That's the starved child in me grinning with joy at the knowledge that I am not alone. A lot of my companions (playmates sadly has very wrong connotations...) are in or involved with this collection. And I love it.

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