[Additions to my bookshelf] April 4th, 2013

After much, much thought, I have decided to “be given” (fitting Rule #2) two more books!

1. A Hopeless Romantic, by Harriet Evans – I have never read anything by Harriet Evans, but I’ve been flirting with this for quite a while now. The only thing stopping me from buying it was the fact that it was so expensive here in Brazil – nearly twice the original price and around three times its reduced price on Amazon. Now my dad had to create an Amazon account because I need a book for my graduation paper that was only available there, so I asked him if I could include this one and he said yes! Yay! It’ll take a while for it to arrive, but it looks like perfect chick-lit for the end of a stressful semester. There’s only one in stock at Amazon for the reduced price of six dollars, so I hope this poor little fellow isn’t left there and ends up being purchased by someone who discovers it through this post!

2. Bad Girls Don’t Die, by Katie Alender – I would never have picked this one up simply by its cover, but I saw it described on a post at The Broke and the Bookish and got really curious. After reading a few reviews, this looks like it deserves a nice try: it’s a ghost thriller, but seems to be well-written and paced. I haven’t even bought it yet, but it’s only a matter of getting to the bookstore. I wanted not to get caught on another series, but don’t we all end up doing it in the end? I’m buying this with the gift card I mentioned earlier, so The Rules are still standing!

There is still some money left on the gift card, so I’m open to suggestions on what to buy next…

[Window Shopping] March 20th, 2013

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As promised, I intend to get started on a few fix weekly posts on this blog, the first one being this: window shopping! Since I can’t buy books because of The Rules, I might as well mentally make my extravaganzas.

ImageThe first book I chose to mentally buy – after a lot of physically admiring and touching and internally weeping at the bookstore as I held it on my hands and wondered at the injustice of book prices – is Jonathan Safran Foer’s new book, Tree of Codes. Yes, the paperback costs 30 dollars. On SALE. And here’s why.

Having read Jonathan’s Eating Animals, I am aware of how brilliant a writer he is and, from what I’ve heard about his fiction novels, he seems to be a highly creative one as well. So when I saw Tree of Codes on the bookstore, I went straight to it with a determination that would scare Jonathan’s biggest fans. Only to have my jaw drop after opening it.

Safran Foer took his favorite book, Tree of Crocodiles, by Bruno Schulz, and cut out parts of it. Yes, cut it out. As in the-biggest-crime-and-most-horrific-thing-one-could-possibly-do-to-a-book. But he did it with good cause: after most likely going through hell to publish it, the book tells a story through what’s left of the original, and the result is shocking and brilliant. The price comes from the fact that every single page inside the book comes with holes from where the story was cut, leaving the rest of the printed words to sum up and tell a story. Here’s what it looks like:

ImageI can’t be the only one in love with this, right? I kept looking at it and wanting to cry at the perfection. I couldn’t – and still can’t, to be honest – believe how innovative it was. This reminded me of why I will never understand people who prefer digital copies of books: paper is touchable, “smellable”, and gives our hands a pleasure that accompanies the one that the text produces on our hearts. Books like these remind me of why paper isn’t and, in my opinion, should never be dead. In the words of the author:

 On the brink of the end of paper, I was attracted to the idea of a book that can’t forget it has a body.

So yes, I will have to stick to window shopping for a while. But I wish I could have this on my hands forever – because books, paper-and-ink books, are friends who will always wait, patiently, to be once again touched and discovered, to have the pieces you once missed be finally found. And, in this case, to have the pieces that are missing also become part of your story, reminding you that there is a lot more to a book than what is actually printed.