Tag Archives: books

Surrounded By Ideas

Today’s guest post comes from tim.

I was in the bookstore waiting for my wife the other day. I still use it for a meeting place but have begun to think maybe a park is as good a spot now with the internet serving the purpose that the bookstore once did. The diference being that the book store has stuff to put your hands on and touch and suggest that your brain would never come up with on its own.

Or would it? That is the question.


If left to your own design you would be able to come up with all the cool stimulation of thought to send you surfing into infinitium and off into uncharted worlds like a book store can do. You don’t have to do anything other than pick up a copy of whatever is on the shelf to see if you care. How many times have you picked up a book at the bookstore read 10 words and put it back down. A look at a cover an author a theme that takes you off to somewhere else where you see a realted idea you would never have googled but as long as it is this easy you just pick it up and browse for a minute. It may be that I am more of the mile wide and an inch deep than the average person but I love the ability to walk through the bookstore and breathe in all the possibilities for avenues to cast my brain into.

I think of the time I waited in barnes and noble in galleria to get jimmy carters signature on my book. I got there an hour or so before the book signing was to begin and found the end of the line was already a good ways back through the lower level of the store. Jimmy being the overly conscientious man that he is has anticipated the demand and was there over an hour early signing a book in a little over one thousand one one thousand to one thousand three with a pair of assistants on either side one ot place the next book in front of him, one to take the signed copy form him and prepare for the next and the next and the next. The line in this scenario kind of inched alone even ½ a mile back which is about where i believe when I began.

As I wound my way through the bookshelves I recognized all the authors topics genres as the went by. The line organizers did me the favor of running it through the fiction section and the Margaret atwood kickoff followed by the brontes the and so on past faulkner, hesse, hemmingay twain, Vonnegut, wolfe and into the genre stuff of travel and poetry western and I realized how much I enjoy the process of seeing the title and author and the idea that comes to mind with the snap associaton.

Today I was looking at dc comics and marvel comic section across from manga that new form of picture books that are action stories where the pictures tell the stories and the words go along instead of the other way around. I was looking for the brother of a friend who is a gifted comic book artist. And I came across anne rice who I had been telling my daughter about and suggesting she look into as kind of the grandmother of the vampire flying death angel genre my daughter is very into these days. I thought it was in the wrong place then I discovered it was a picture book version of the story and it did a decent job of telling the story. I looked next to that and there was a copy of farenheit 451 by ray bradberry. He had writen a preface about how farenheiht 451 came to be with a 50 year hindsight viewer as an aide he hadn’t been able to use before. He talked about how he arrived at farenheit 451 from a little incident that happened to him a couple weeks earlier and that he had always attributed that to the origins of the story only years later did he ralize that the story came from deep down in his subconscious and he recommended that when you write you allow the ideas to flow and follow them rather than thinking you have an idea of what you are doing,

Ray bradberrys close on the preface was this: if you had to memorize one book like the people in farenheit 451 did for preservation and to contribute to the furthering of the world, which book would you chose and why?