Infinite Readings

I would prefer a ‘previously owned’ book over a new one in most every instance. That musty, ‘old book’ aroma is my personal gateway, like Proust and his madeleine, to a childhood of thumbing through paperbacks at garage sales and flea markets…as well as the afternoons drifted away at Beckham’s Books on Decatur Street.

There is, naturally, a slight pang of guilt in that the author will lose the royalty that they might have received from the publisher, and I do think about that, but it is overwhelmed by the weird thrill I feel at imagining who else has owned this – who else read these words, on this page. Did anyone else get to the lines:

…I’d write “Anna” in the air – backward and right to left – so that the person I was speaking to could see, and when I was on the phone I’d dial the numbers – 2, 6, 6, 2 – so the person could hear what I couldn’t, myself, say.

…and feel the same odd little rush that I did? Maybe the rush originated from those shared moments, aligned in time around these magical objects – as if each copy of every book is a little Horcrux unto itself.

Or is it really just some internal sleight-of-hand dazzling our innate yearning for personal connections, sparked by a unique turn of the phrase that seems special and magical and all of those things that make for good storytelling?


[NOTE: Apologies to Jonathan Safran Foer for buying my copy of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close on the cheap. If anyone is on the fence about this book, follow the link and buy a (new) copy…]

Don’t Call It A Comeback

I was always miffed at what seemed like NFL announcer’s tendency to hype the ‘comeback’ stats for NFL quarterbacks. Being a lifelong Dolphins fan, it seemed like Dan Marino was the best, but John Elway always got the hype. Now it’s Old Man Farve that’s getting the boost on this apocryphal stat…and thankfully Scott Kacsmar of Pro-Football-Reference.comis there to set the record straight and researched up the real numbers on Favre (& the myth of Elway):

… He would have 31 in his career; enough to tie him with Joe Montana, but still trailing Elway (34), Johnny Unitas (34), Peyton Manning (35) and Dan Marino (36). As it stands, the Arizona win was Favre’s 30th comeback victory.

And here, for example, is a bit of Marino greatness. The infamous ‘fake spike’ that sent the Jet’s organization into a funk and Pete Carroll running back to college.

If your life had a face…

So, I’ve had a pretty great week as far as wasting-time-with-media-consumables goes. I had used my birthday gift cards to pre-order some items, and November has been my lucky month. Rock Band 3, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, and a few books (finally splurged on that Marilyn Minter book after scoping it out at Powells), but best of all has been the extra-fancy Blu-Ray edition of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, which we watched last week over some delicious chinese take-out. And I’m STILL wading through all of the extra bonus features and goodies that were included. Awesome indeed.

My feelings on the movie are best echoed by this orgasmic review of the said-fancy disc by Adam Tyner of DVDTalk:

“So, somewhere in the middle of Scott Pilgrim’s second date with the very literal girl-of-his-dreams, one of her ex-boyfriends suddenly crashes through the ceiling. Within a minute or two, this guy breaks out into a Bollywood dance number, continues his shoulder-jiggling dance routine mid-air, spawns a gaggle of winged, fanged demon-hipster-chicks, and flings a barrage of fireballs Scott’s way. ‘Course, everyone knows that Scott Pilgrim is the best fighter in the province, so he air-juggles Ramona’s ex Street Fighter-style until he bursts into a couple bucks in coins. Scott isn’t concerned so much about the fact that a levitating, demon-summoning, pyrokinetic Indian kid had tried to kill him before exploding into pocket change; no, he’s just miffed that the guy didn’t leave enough for bus fare back home…(fast forward)…In other words, it’s pretty much the best thing ever.”

Gratingly Twee

From THE AWL, regarding FOX-induced hype regarding Juan Williams:

“Keep in mind, O’Reilly may pull just over 3 million viewers a show, but Prairie Home Companion bests that by a million. Even Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me has as many listeners as Bill has viewers. Recently, O’Reilly’s audience surged to over 4 million following the hissy fit on “The View.” That’s a regular week for Car Talk, listened to and loved by 4.4 million. Even gratingly twee This American Life (1.7 million) pulls just about the same numbers as Fox News superstar Glenn Beck.”