Italo Calvino on walking into a bookstore: 

So, then, you noticed in a newspaper that If on a winter’s night a traveler had appeared, the new book by Italo Calvino, who hadn’t published for several years. You went to the bookshop and bought the volume. Good for you.

In the shop window you have promptly identified the cover with the title you were looking for. Following this visual trail, you have forced your way through the shop pas the thick barricade of Books You Haven’t Read, which were frowning at you from the tables and shelves, trying to cow you. But you know you must never allow yourself to be awed, that among them there extend for acres and acres the Books You Needn’t Read, the Books Made For Purposes Other Than Reading, Books Read Even Before You Open Them Since They Belong To The Category Of Books Read Before Being Written. And thus you pass the outer girdle of ramparts, but then you are attacked by the infantry of the Books That If You Had More Than One Life You Would Certainly Also Read But Unfortunately Your Days Are Numbered. With a rapid maneuver you bypass them and move into the phalanxes of the Books You Mean To Read But There Are Others You Must Read First, the Books Too Expensive Now And You’ll Wait Till They’re Remaindered, the Books ditto When They Come Out In Paperback, Books You Can Borrow From Somebody, Books That Everybody’s Read So It’s As If You Had Read Them, Too. Eluding these assaults, you come up beneath the towers of the fortress, where other troops are holding out:

the Books You’ve Been Planning To Read For Ages,
the Books You’ve Been Hunting For Years Without Success,
the Books Dealing With Something You’re Working On At The Moment,
the Books You Want To Own So They’ll Be Handy Just In Case,
the Books You Could Put Aside Maybe To Read This Summer,
the Books You Need To Go With Other Books On Your Shelves,
the Books That Fill You With Sudden, Inexplicable Curiosity, Not Easily Justified.

Now you have been able to reduce the countless embattled troops to an array that is, to be sure, very large but still calculable in a finite number; but this relative relief is then undermined by the ambush of the Books Read Long Ago Which It’s Now Time To Reread and the Books You’ve Always Pretended To Have Read And Now It’s Time To Sit Down And Really Read Them.

With a zigzag dash you shake them off and leap straight into the citadel of the New Books Whose Author Or Subject Appeals To You. Even inside this stronghold you can make some breaches in the ranks of the defenders, dividing them into New Books By Authors Or On Subjects Not New (for you or in general) and New Books By Authors Or On Subjects Completely Unknown (at least to you), and defining the attraction they have for you on the basis of your desires and needs for the new and the not new (for the new you seek in the not new and for the not new you seek in the new).

All this simply means that, having rapidly glanced over the titles of the volumes displayed in the bookshop, you have turned toward a stack of If on a winter’s night a traveler fresh off the press, you have grasped a copy, and you have carried it to the cashier so that your right to own it can be established.
— Italo Calvino, If on a Winter's Night a Traveler

Sunken Treasure media kit


My Best Internet Acquaintance, Wil Wheaton, has released his Sunken Treasure chapbook out to the general public, and now you can buy a copy of your very own without having to go see him at a convention. You can also get it in PDF format, if you don't want to wait for a hard copy. Buy both, what the hell!

If you haven't yet read any of Wil's work, Sunken Treasure is a great introduction. His writing is authentic, witty, and heartfelt. I've enjoyed watching him hone his skills as a writer on his blog over the last couple of years, and in Sunken Treasure, he's really hit his stride and come into his own voice. It's "This American Life" for geeks. I've urged quite a few friends to go and read his blog, and now I'm strongly suggesting you all check out his book to get a feel for what his longer books are like.

If you'd like to promote the book by passing out flyers, as it happens, I've also done a media kit for Sunken Treasure. How about that? When Wil asked me if I was down to do a media kit for Sunken Treasure, my answer was HELLS YEAH! I believe in supporting the members of the Creative Geek tribe as best I can, and this is a great way to do it. You can get the media kit right here, from me, until such time as it goes up at Monolith Press.

A small banner (180x50px):

Sunken Treasure Small

A large banner (480x400px):

And a nifty flyer (8.5 x 11):

I based the designs off the cover design by Matt Brooker.

Support your fellow creative geeks and help get the word out about Wil's work!

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Yep, it's your books

I'm not the only one who thinks this way: BBC NEWS | UK | Education | Many lie over books 'to impress': Nearly half of all men and one-third of women have lied about what they have read to try to impress friends or potential partners, a survey suggests. Just remember, kids: if you're going to lie about which books you've read, you should probably be familiar with the works. And admitting you've never made it through the Western canon will score you more points than lying.

Read More

my neil gaiman sketch, let me show you it

Done at tonight's (well, last night's, now) reading of The Graveyard Book, in almost total darkness: Not being able to actually see what I was drawing made this a little difficult, but all things considered, I think it came out rather well. Sleep is threatening to bash me over the head now unless I cave into it.

Read More