May 15, 2018

Days for Reading (Aimless Rambling)

In the recent months I've been pretty much on a movie-spree, watching quite a lot of movies in rapid sucession. That's cool, because I like going to movies and I like movies. But then I have stopped, or more to the point, I have BEEN stopped. Do you want to know why? Because the movie theatres around me have decided to cater on hypes and limited seriously the number of movies they put out for people to watch. For instance, in my home town there is a mall with a movie theatre that has five halls. Do you know how many movies are they projecting? Three: Avengers (already seen it), a national movie (already seen it) and one about apostole Paul (there is no power on the heavens, earth or hell that can make me see it). Prior to that it was the first two movies AND a kiddie movie. Prior to that it was only the first TWO movies.

Other movie theatres around have more movies: Avengers, the national movie, and an assortment of kiddie and/or religious movies. So I keep branching out, I look for other movie theatres and I find war-action movies, comedy-action movies, comedies... Really? I know it's not October, so there wouldn't be an overabundance of horror movies, but is it April-May the sucky-movie-month?

So yes, that upsets me, but thankfully I've solutions at hand: my friends the loyal Books. ^_^ The thing with movies is that either you have at home a large DVD, Blueray collection, or millions of movie files on your computer (or Netflix and such) or you will depend of whaever the movie theatres in your location are willing to show. On the other hand, with books you can accumulate many, or even just get into your local library (if you read in there, you won't even have to pay, often times), and have a wonderful story at your fingertips that can keep you entertained for more than 90 minutes (usually).

And so yes, as movies dry up, I turn to my books and I fill my head with their words and their stories. :-) Currently, the book I'm reading is Bastian Obermayer and Frederik Obermaier's "Panama Papers", the book these journalists wrote about how they've got all those documents from Mossack Fonseca, the company that facilitated worldwide to many enterprises and individuals to create offshore companies that helped them funnel funds for different reasons. This book is AMAZING!

Now, I must tell you this: book shopping sprees can be, and often are life savers. Few of you might know (though I suspect none of you know), that I am part of the booktube community. I've a really tiny channel (in Spanish), and I like it like that. I like the feeling that I'm an unknown little booktuber that only a few people have discovered, and are maybe seen in secret. :-P Anyway, for a while now I've been consuming copious amounts of booktube videos, because

1. They are entertaining
2. They give me good ideas about what other books are out there that I may want to read

Most booktubers are young and avid YA (young adult) readers, which I am not, so also, a reason for me to do the chanel was to put of more content of other types of books. Yes, most of the booktubers read other books that are not YA, though those tend to be new books or hyped books or - you know - the books you usually find at big bookstores. And there is nothing wrong with that, but that often leaves other obscure books out there to be discovered. Lets put it this way (though it's not accurate), most booktubers are glossy bookstore booktubers, and I've been feeling the need of used-bookstore booktubers. At least this is my perspective.

So, yes, the thing is - I'm taking such a long, circumventing road here - that I have been binging on booktube for a while, and I've notice the murmurs of all sorts of topics and dramas, one of those was "Book Consumism". The hype at one point was whether booktube promotes consumism. Honestly, I've been tempted to put out a video explaining the different natures of goods in economy, and how books are like music, and it is possible not to have a "point of satisfaction" with it, thus people can consume infinite amounts of it... but that's not the point.

So, I was wondering if there was really such a thing as too many books or excessive book purchase, or mindless book purchase. Now, each to their own, but this is what I think: 

1. There is people who like to collect. Some people like a particular book very much and buy it in different editions because they like to look at it. They don't buy it for the story - though they may like the story - but for its collection-value, which may or may not be represented in terms of money. It is not "silly consumism", because in this case the book takes on a different function, the same way people collect stamps, sports cards, or any other thing that can be collected.

2. Books are a mean for entertainment, and while some books can be read several times and keep the same entertaining value, or some people can read the same book several times and still be entertained, that is not always the case. In these later cases, people who wish to entertain themselves reading, need to keep consuming more and more books, different each time. Putting a stop to it would be as silly as saying to someone "You have watched 10 movies so far in your lifetime. You don't need to watch any more movies".

In the cases where people desire to keep reading different books, they can choose to buy the books or borrow them, for instance, from a library. When people choose to buy them, often times people get into a bookstore and find several books they like. If they have the means to buy them, why shouldn't they? I have more books unread that I have read, and I always make sure to keep them that way, for as long as my resources and the bookstores around me allow me to. Why? Not only because I like to have a variety of choices to choose from when I have finished a book (I never really know, after finishing a book, what kind of story would I need or want to read), but also because it has happened to me quite often that I walk into a bookstore seeking new books (meaning: with the intention of spending money on books) and have come out empty handed. Just as I noted before, what would be the point of suffering from the same harrowing emotion that one goes through with movies (at least here) but with books? Why not use the times when there are plenty of good, interesting books (according to your own taste, after all, you are the one reading them) and gather many to be able to survive good-book-drout? 

Depending on how often you enter a bookstore, and the kind of bookstore you have around, but usually big chain bookstores operate based on market logic, meaning that they will fill their limited book-space with those books that are more likely to be sold. As result, when a certain book has a hype, bookstores tend to stuff their shelves with that type of book and as many similar books as possible, so that the readers brought in by the hype my find the book they wanted or leave with a similar one, and for those who already had a hyped book, to keep offering similar ones. This means that if you are not interested in that type of book or topic, you may have less to choose from.

The good thing about books is that they don't have a caducity date. They won't rot, they won't make you sick if you read them after certain date, so you can stock up on them and read them when you have the time or the desire.

My personal library is one filled with book that are now hard to get, obscure tomes that I would have forgotten, have I not found them when I did, and which yet are amazing. When I finish a book I don't need to go to a bookstore, but simply browse through my bookshelves for one of my many hidden treasures. And it makes me happy. My library keeps me entertained and assures me many, many years of entertainment ahead, saving me from the risk of running out of good stories be it for the lack of printing of good books or from a possible time when I can afford buying more books.

Perhaps book-consumism could be if you bought books just because they were hype, even though you had no intention to read them, nor were you interested in collecting books, but purchase them only for the desire to spend money. But if you buy books - be in few or many - because you want to collect them or read them (and you are interested in the book, or believe that you could be interested in it ), then that's not consumism, that's acquiring a good to satisfy a present or future need, and that is what regular consumer behavior is about. Trust me, I learned about this. I even have a degree on the science that studies this. :-D

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