All posts filed under: The Sunday Salon

The End of an Affair and Turning Over a New Leaf

Goodreads was never an affair for me. It was a marriage. It was the social network that I visited the most, counting Facebook. I can get lost in it browsing books, reading reviews, sorting shelves, and deliberating discussions–most important. And last week, something happened. I was merely checking my spam mailbox when I caught sight of an email from an unfamiliar name with the subject “Librarian Status: Under Review.” This is what it had to say: Hi there, . It’s great that Goodreads has so many hard-working librarians, and we are happy to count you among them. But it seems you are working at cross-purposes to established policy, not to mention causing other librarians work. . Please keep in mind that to qualify as a book, an item must have been published. Goodreads Groups are not authors, and discussions in a group are not books. . If you have any further questions, feel free to come discuss them in the Librarians Group, which I’m happy to see you are a member of. . Best, . …

The dog is as happy as I am.

Channeling Desiderius Erasmus: A Weekend of Splurging

There is nothing philosophical in this post unless one wants to ponder the philosophy of book hoarding. So I got a little money and I bought books; and whatever was left, I bought food and clothes. This sentence is the only thing that has something to do with the 16th century figure. I feel that I have to talk about this because it’s the first time that I have spent so much on books on a single weekend, and that practically is my rent money. Nine new shiny books that I probably would not read anytime soon and that currently occupy the bedroom book shelf (for there is a mezzanine book shelf that I like showing off to pest controllers and visitors, heh). This is not a phenomenal thing, but what I would like to know is how much is too much when it comes to book buying. Of course, one has to consider the background of the book hoarder. Do you have the means? I have a job. Do you have financial obligations? I do, …

Why am I not reading?

These are the things that are happening when my reading gets out of focus: I have too much work that needs to be done (and heavy traffic on the way home) and I just want to hit the sacks early. The problem is, I just lie around doing nothing while waiting for hunger to strike me down. I am looking for a new place. And you know what’s on the top of my list of considerations? Book and shelf space. I am spending way too much time on mobile games and I can’t seem to delete them from my phone. I have an inner turbulence that I have to get through. Fortunately, this does not count now. I am reading more books than I could handle. Infinite Jest, Great Expectations, and Love in the Time of Cholera (and Les Miserables). I realize that I am not a good polyreader. So I am going to finish these three and return to monogamy. I may not be reading a lot of books but I am definitely reading …

The lines were too long

A friend and I went to the anniversary sale of a leading book store here in the Philippines. The books littered at the sale tables weren’t that impressive, but the 20% discount for regular items was appealing. I picked up (and returned) The Pale King, The Collected Stories of William Faulkner, and Kristin Lavransdatter. I didn’t know what to buy, but after seeing the long queue of people, plus their respective carts of books, we decided not to push through. But I made a last attempt. I remembered Vladimir Nabokov, so I asked the crew if they have his collection of short stories. I am willing to line up for it. Fortunately, they have one copy, but unfortunately, they couldn’t locate it. So yeah, we went away and ate somewhere. Chicken steak with bits of bacon in white sauce, garlic rice, corn kernels, lemon iced tea, dark chocolate tiramisu. Yummy. Anyway, this is a bit bothering. Before, I would compulsively buy books thinking that I’ll get around to reading them when I get enough time …

This is an attempt to sort of explain the lack of activities here

I usually don’t do this. In fact, I sometimes raise my eyebrows when I read posts where the blogger explains with so much fervor why he or she hasn’t been around. It’s as if the blogger owes the readers an explanation or the readers are demanding for it. It’s all fine. Probably these bloggers and readers have deeper relationships than I assume. The same is true with me. A lot of my readers are also my friends. I sometimes feel that I have readers only because of my friends. Still, I try my best not to include very personal matters here for fear that it would alienate other people. Besides, this is a book blog. I don’t feel like mashing it up with other stuff. And besides, there is The Sunday Salon as an excuse to post not-so-bookish-but-still-sort-of-bookish stuff. Like what have I been doing as far as reading and blogging are concerned? Have I been reading at all? Why am I not reviewing books lately? Why am I not buying books? I have sunk …

Can a novel be both fictional and philosophical?

I do not even want to dip my finger regarding this matter because I am not huge on philosophy. I only have 3 units of philosophy in my college transcript and Sophie’s World to back me up (and oh, let’s add the first four chapters of the audiobook The Great Ideas of Philosophy). So why I am asking this? What’s the point of this post? Well, I’d just like to share a thread that went over at the Facebook group of Summer of Jest. Yes, I joined this reading event (Summer of Jest) to help me get through David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest with … flying colors? Aside from wanting to share the conversation and keep it here for future reference, in case the thread gets lost in the unnavigable trenches of Facebook, I’d also like to hear your thoughts on it. Can a novelist write philosophically? The preceding link is actually what started the thread without me knowing while I was rereading the thread. And yeah, here it is. I’ve changed the names of the members …

67 Books I Must Read in 3 Years, and 11 more

It has been nearly two months since I made any post for The Sunday Salon. I’ve been remiss in writing these posts because I couldn’t think of anything interesting to share with you, dear readers and salonists. I’ve been slow in reading and in doing my bookish write-ups, and I’d rather not bore people, particularly people who don’t know me personally, with tales of how bored and anxious I have been in the last couple of months. The first quarter of the year has sped by (that fast?), so I checked the number of books that I’ve read and the kinds of books that I’ve been reading. Currently, I am at a measly 12. Goodreads says that I’m one book behind schedule (target is 52 books). That’s alright, but two of those books are short reads: one is a collection of poems and the other is a short story. Is this a cause for alarm? I admit I panicked a bit, but I think that I could be back on track within this week because …