Wednesday, December 5, 2018

A Look Inside the Inner Sanctum

I’m going to give you a look inside my head.  See what you think about what’s in there.

It took me a while to warm up to eBooks, especially in the beginning when copyright DRM devices were still being figured out and you would pay full price for a book in PDF form and find you couldn’t open it.  You certainly couldn’t pass it around.  And even now, there is still nothing quite like being able to hold a physical book in your hand and turn the pages.  In one case a close friend of mine loaned  me a humor book that had been on her kitchen table for a long time.  I never read the book – but I smelled it.  The book smelled like her skin, like her kitchen table.   It was evocative of intimate conversations and a drink late at night.  It was evocative of her.  I never read the book through but I loved to hold the paper pages to my nose and inhale her essence, conjuring her presence like a magician whenever I desired it.

When I visit a person’s home, one of the first things I do is look around to see what books they’re reading.  I always think that, as in my case, it helps you to know the person, what they think about all the time.  There was a time this might have been true, but more and more people seem not to read.  It is rare to find a house that has a full library or even a sloppy stack of library books piled by the easy chair.  My impression is that people don’t read anymore.  One of the reasons I’ve gotten away for so long with writing sex stories is that no one in my family, none of my friends – except one – reads books the way I do.  No  one is impressed.   No one cares.  I’ve even shown my son anthologies, some quite respectable, that had my stories.  Zero.  So I’ve gotten away with a lot, which is probably for the best.

I love ebooks now.  I have four huge libraries of ebooks, mostly on six subjects – Sex, Writing Craft, Poetry, Spirituality, cook books and information technology.  One of my friends, the one that actually  reads books, calls me a Renaissance Man.  I’ll take it.

These images here are a peek, and not even a complete one, a partial one, of my Google Books library, which is only one library of four.  I am a fiend.  My relationship with books is not a normal one.  I hoard them like King Solomon hoarded wives and concubines.  Like Solomon, these hundreds of books are my only lovers.  But what a vast harem of wise, passionate and interesting lovers  they are.  They are my courtesans.

My mind seems to revolve around three fundamental themes at all times.  Spiritual journey, the craft of prose and poetry, and the art of evoking sexual pleasure.  I appear to be an unambitious man.  An interesting but so so paying job, a small entry level house, an aging car.  A crappy tiny lawn.  But the fact is I’m a very ambitious and driven man.   


My ambitions are all interior, they are all hidden.  Sex, the mysteries of the spiritual path, the hunger to write better and tell better stories.  These are all on the inside where nothing shows.  But these ambitions have served me well, because whatever all, I have achieved one of life’s most coveted prizes – I like myself.

Not in a vain way.  Not in a narcissistic way.  I find, that at my advanced and advancing age, I have become a genuinely interesting person.  I like myself.  I enjoy talking to myself.  I enjoy scolding myself.  I enjoy being in my own skin even as entropy advances it’s decomposition.  All I have really asked of life is to not be bored.  I am never bored with myself, and I am never bored as long as I have a book to read.  And as long as I have my smart phone in my pocket – I have hundreds of books to read wherever I am, as well as the ones I write.



  1. What a wonderful snapshot of your reading tastes! But hardly any fiction, I notice.

    Have you read all of these?

    If you were to come to my apartment, you'd see we're overrun with books. We go to library sales and second hand stores to stock up. Even though we try to pass on books after we've read them, the bookshelves in our bedroom are piled high, tottering. Plus there are smaller piles next to our respective sides of the bed.

    This doesn't even consider the 2000 or so technical books we have in our offices...

  2. I totally identify with the biblio-profile you offer. I, too, am begrudgingly incorporating ebooks into my libraries. I used to say that one could tell how anxious I was about where I was going by the number of books I brought along. Now I take my phone with Audible or a Kindle with hundreds of text and audible options. I love used book sales. Every room in my house/s is loaded with multiple bookcases and shelves stacked and crammed. Human consciousness, creativity,and conflict and collaboration with the perceivable universe is where most books take me to play. Then there is James Lee Burke, or Michael Connelly...

  3. My husband got a new job a year ago, after being unemployed for over a year. At our age, it was very difficult for him to find employment. So even though it's a very stressful job, he's doing his best to be able to handle it. He must be doing well, since he just got a great review. But to relax, he comes home and reads endless compendiums of sci-fi short stories. We shop at every used book sale around, and he collects them...only to donate them back to the next sale and get more.

    Me, I go for cultural anthropology, or other non-fiction books that deal with what it means to be human...and why we are the way we are. I think that's why my son, the geologist who is also a writer, says that I write, "in a literary style, but with tasteful sex scenes." I try to delve into why my characters are the way they are.

    Unfortunately, the current "hot" button seems to be reverse harems with various combinations of multiple men who want to share one woman...often at the same time. After reading a few while judging in a contest, I'm not even interested in reading them anymore, let alone in writing them. Werewolves, vampires...those I can more easily believe in, than to accept that 4 brothers want to share one woman! I raised 3 boys, who wouldn't even share their toys!