Colin Timothy Gagnon (sacredspud) wrote,
Colin Timothy Gagnon

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The first rule of loaning books to Colin is Don't Loan Books to Colin

Awhile ago it occurred to me that the best way to motivate myself to cross the essential books off my to-read list is to borrow other books and promise to read them. evil_jim loaned me a book of John Shirley stories which sat, unread for two years, while plowed through The King in Yellow, a bunch of Fritz Leiber, most of Bruce Sterling's novels, Neuromancer by William Gibson, Douglas Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid, and a couple of books from the Church of the Subgenius. Same thing goes for movies. I don't know when I'm going to watch koriandrkitten's copy of Hostel 2, but since borrowing it, I've seen a whole mess of other movies that you probably think I should have seen earlier.

One of these was Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, which I with r3507, agaysexicon, and fuzzyinthehead, who reminded me that I've been borrowing her copy Fight Club since February. Uh, first, The Birds: I had never seen The Birds before. It's a long shot from being Hitchcock's best film, but worth its notariety. We all found the first hour of the movie to be laughably campy, possibly to the annoyance of the people sitting around us. Then the mood changed abruptly and we got really quiet for the second hour. For those unfamiliar with the film, it's basically Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, sans musical numbers and with better special effects. Actually, the special effects are impressive to the point of being distracting, given that it was made in 1963. And if you're the sort of person who cares about that sort of thing. I am, apparently.

Anyway, Liz reminded me that I've had her copy of Fight Club since February, and I promised to try to give it a go sometime this week. Well, it turns out that it's a remarkably quick read, and between two ten-minute breaks and my lunch, I've gotten through the first 191 pages. That's a pretty serious record for me, and it's a 224-page book, so I don't think I'm in danger of not finishing this week.

Problem is, while I was ignoring Liz's book, I got through a whole bunch of William Gibson novels, two David Sedaris books, parts of that funny Amy Sedaris book on entertaining, three Arthur C. Clarke novels, both of the Lifehacker books, the interesting parts of I Hated, Hated, Hated this Movie by Roger Ebert, Profoundly Disturbing by Joe Bob Briggs, and everything I could find for free online by Arthur Machen. I've also listened to a bunch of audiobooks.

That's not as much reading as it probably looks like at first glance.

Tomorrow I'll be done with Fight Club, and without something to ignore, I won't have any motivation to read all of the other stuff I was planning to touch but haven't. That's a pretty big stack, because I just decided to commit myself to the whole of Liberty Meadows, Bone, and Hellboy (probably not big time investments), a bunch of Neil Gaiman novels, and all of the Neal Stephenson I haven't read, which is most of it. But nothing makes me get started on reading faster than having something else that I can put off.

I need to borrow a book from somebody.
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